New Lawsuit Claims Costco Illegally Raises Its $4.99 Rotisserie Chickens

·1 min read
Photo credit: J. Michael  Jones - Getty Images
Photo credit: J. Michael Jones - Getty Images

Costco has found itself at the center of a potentially damning lawsuit filed by two shareholders of the store. According to People, a lawsuit brought by Krystil Smith and Tyler Lobdell states that one of the farms Costco uses for its popular $4.99 rotisserie chickens has broken animal-welfare laws.

"Most of the individuals whom Costco contracted to raise chickens had never raised chickens before they started working with Costco," reads the lawsuit, which was obtained by People. "As a result, Costco is responsible for training these growers on how to raise chickens and how to care for animals, and for setting the animal welfare standards that these growers follow."

According to the lawsuit, Costco markets its rotisserie chickens at such a bargain price to bring customers to its retail stores. Among the most disturbing details from the lawsuit are claims that the the chickens at the farm contracted by Costco are "bred to grow unnaturally fast" and they are so heavy that their undersides constantly scrape the ground.

The lawsuit warns that Costco's successful practice of luring customers with inexpensive chicken could take a hit as word of the mistreatment of chickens continues to spread.

"If Costco continues its illegal mistreatment of chickens, it risks undermining its long-running and successful traffic-generation strategy," the lawsuit states. "As more consumers learn of the mistreatment of Costco chickens, the benefits reaped using loss-leading rotisserie chickens to drive customer traffic and purchases — which are important enough for Costco to invest in significantly — will vanish or greatly diminish because consumer preferences to not buy products made illegally or unethically will trump the lure of a 'cheap' chicken."

Costco has yet to respond to the lawsuit.

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