The Cost of $4.99 Roast Chickens: Costco Sued for Animal Abuse
But Costco is now facing a lawsuit from two shareholders claiming the company and its top executives violated animal welfare laws and, in doing so, breached their fiduciary duties. The lawsuit calls into question Costco’s efforts to keep its key item cheap.
Costco did not immediately respond to request for comment on the lawsuit.
As part of the operation, Costco recruited area farmers to raise broiler chickens to deliver to the Nebraska processing plant.
But the lawsuit alleges that Costco intentionally raises these broilers that are too big to stand on their own in factory farms and that “disabled birds are slowly dying of starvation, injury and disease.”
This follows allegations from another animal rights group about Costco’s treatment of its chickens.
But Costco’s practices could harm demand for rotisserie chickens, the lawsuit alleges, and damage its company’s reputation.
“As more and more consumers learn of the mistreatment of Costco chickens, the benefits gained from using rotisserie chickens at a loss to drive customer traffic and purchases…will disappear or drastically diminish because preferences consumers not to buy illegally or unethically produced products will outweigh the lure of ‘cheap’ chicken.”