Animal-rights group PETA wants shareholders to push Groupon Inc. to stop doing promotions for animal circuses and similar businesses.
PETA said Monday it bought shares of Groupon stock last week so it can attend the annual meeting this summer, speak to shareholders and submit a resolution seeking policy changes.
But PETA might have to wait until next year. A Groupon spokesman said the annual meeting is open to shareholders who owned stock as of March 31 and the “deadline to submit proposals for this year’s meeting has long since passed.”
In a news release announcing its plans, PETA Foundation deputy general counsel Delcianna Winders said: “If it wants to be thought of as an ethical company, Groupon should not be touting circuses and other animal exhibitors with long histories of forcing injured and ill animals to perform.”
“PETA will be at the May 20 shareholder meeting, either inside or protesting outside, to address Groupon’s promotion of cruel animal exhibitors,” a PETA spokeswoman said in an email Tuesday. The group will file a shareholder resolution next year if Groupon doesn’t change its policies regarding circuses and other animal-related events.
The animal-rights group has campaigned for at least two years to get Groupon to stop offering discounts on admission to circuses, including Ringling Bros.
“We require animal-focused events and experiences to have clear inspection reports for animal cruelty from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for at least two years prior to their feature on our site,” Groupon spokesman Bill Roberts said.”When we receive reports of potential violations, we check the merchant against our policies and, when warranted, remove the offer from our site.”
A Groupon Facebook post in August 2012 sought feedback about doing business with circuses.