Lawsuit: Costco Shareholders Cry “Fowl” Over Chicken Neglect

For Immediate Release:

June 13, 2022


Contact:

Victoria Choi, ‭(972) 658-0575‬

victoria@legalimpactforchickens.org


Lawsuit: Costco Shareholders Cry “Fowl” Over Chicken Neglect


Seattle – Today, two Costco shareholders filed a lawsuit in King County Superior Court alleging that Costco executives are causing the company to violate Nebraska and Iowa laws against livestock neglect. The complaint follows a 2021 undercover investigation revealing that chickens used by Costco are bred to grow so fast that many of them can’t stand under their own weight. The complaint alleges that many of these young, disabled birds are unable to reach food or water, and that the company fails to provide them with individualized medical care. The complaint accuses Costco’s executives of violating their basic fiduciary duty to act lawfully.

“Once lauded as an innovative warehouse club, Costco today represents a grim existence for animals who are warehoused in inescapable misery,” says Legal Impact for Chickens President Alene Anello, who represents the shareholders alongside the Animal Law Offices, PLLC. “Costco’s executives must agree to follow both the law and general decency in order for Costco to resume being seen as an industry leader.”

Costco has been involved in the breeding, raising, and slaughtering of chickens since 2019. It set up a company called Lincoln Premium Poultry in Fremont, Nebraska, in order to supply itself with cheap meat. Working through Lincoln Premium Poultry, Costco encouraged numerous people in Nebraska and Iowa to become chicken contract growers, despite those people lacking any prior experience farming chickens.

In the lawsuit filed today, the shareholders allege that Costco—which has near total control over the genetics, lives, and deaths of the birds it sends to these contract growers—has abdicated its legal obligation to protect the animals. Following last year’s undercover investigation—conducted by Mercy for Animals—the Costco Rotisserie Chicken Facebook fan page owner even converted the page into a campaign against mistreatment of chickens.

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Legal Impact for Chickens is a litigation nonprofit dedicated to making factory-farm cruelty a liability. For more information, visit legalimpactforchickens.org, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn.