Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Costco sued over alleged inhumane treatment of chickens

Costco was slapped with a shareholder lawsuit alleging that the popular low-cost rotisserie chickens sold by the wholesale club are subject to brutal death in violation of several state laws.

According to the complaint filed earlier this month in state court in Seattle on behalf of two shareholders, chickens are born to grow rapidly, eventually becoming too fat to stand on their own and “slowly becoming hungry, die of thirst, injury and disease”.

Costco executives and directors are bypassing their fiduciary duties by allowing the practice to continue, the suit alleges, naming each director and C-Suite executive as a defendant.

Costco, which is headquartered in Issaquah, Wash., did not immediately respond for comment.

According to the suit, the company charges $4.99 for the perfectly cooked birds at its 574 stores, selling 106 million last year alone.

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Costco has come under fire in the past for treating chickens at its poultry farms.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Chickens are so important to Costco’s bottom line that the company operates the entire poultry ecosystem — from hatchlings to slaughter — operated by Lincoln Premium Poultry, according to the suit, to help keep the price of its rotisserie chickens below those of its competitors. to do.

The complaint alleges that the inhumane treatment of chickens violates state laws covering livestock in Nebraska and Iowa, where chickens are kept.

According to the complaint, the chickens arrive at factory farms when they are a few hours old and spend their lives in “overcrowded, dirty sheds among their waste” and often lose their feathers because of their weight. . The animal’s skin caused an “ammonia burn” after coming into contact with a “dirty floor,” according to the complaint.

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A Costco employee is cooking rotisserie chickens.
Costco has poultry facilities in Iowa and Nebraska.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

“Costco illegally neglects and abandons its chickens,” the suit states, and its officers “are aware of, and willfully disregarded, obvious signs of Costco’s ongoing abuse of chickens.”

This isn’t the first time the retailer has been reprimanded for its treatment of chickens. Last year, animal rights group Mercy for Animals filmed undercover footage of chickens injured in a factory overcrowded farm. Several media outlets, including The New York Times, published investigative articles about Costco’s facilities.

“Their awareness is clearly evident from, among other things, Costco’s own publicly released responses that screamed about the abuse of chickens. Costco directors had an obligation to investigate and correct, The suit said.

Nation World News Desk
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