Animal activists group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is to target fashion clothing chain Benetton after it ignored its pleas to stop using Australian merino wool in its clothing lines.

PETA says it has already been pressurising Benetton - which currently uses a large amount of Australian wool for its clothing lines - for over a year, but has so far not received a satisfactory answer from them.

PETA is campaigning against US and European fashion retailers' support of the merino wool industry on the grounds that it is uses mulesing, which it argues is a brutal and painful process, and also the export of live animals.

The activists say they have already sent Benetton reports explaining alternatives to mulesing, which involves cutting flesh from a lamb's hindquarters, but the company has so far not responded, according to PETA.

Trendy US retailer Abercrombie & Fitch has already agreed to boycott Australian wool after repeated pressure from PETA.