A shocking video has emerged showing the treatment of chickens at a supposed ‘cage-free’ farm that supplies eggs to major supermarket Costco.
The video was filmed in California by an animal activist group and shows the hens living in dank conditions, missing feathers, injured and some even dead.
The confronting video has many people questioning how this so-called cage-free environment could be considered humane by Costco, who have said they are satisfied with how the chickens are being treated.
The eggs from the chickens are sold under the label Kirkland Signature, which is also sold at Australian Costco stores.
The activists who made the video snuck into the shed at night and filmed the horrifying scenes, saying it was one of the worst cases they had ever seen.
“I watched as one bird, bloodied and unable to walk, dragged her body across a manure pile in a desperate attempt to flee. Despite our team’s efforts, this little hen could not be saved,” said Wayne Hsiung, co-founder of Direct Action Everywhere, the group who filmed the footage.
In another interview with the New York Times, Hsiung spoke of the deplorable conditions his team encountered: “There were birds rotting on the floor, and there was one dead bird that seemed to have lost her head. There were birds attacking birds, and the smell was horrible.”
“Consumers have an idyllic vision of what cage-free farming looks like.
“They need to be shown the truth, which is that cage-free is far from humane.”
Costco has since said that they are happy with standards of living for the hens and will continue to do business with the farm.
The farm, Pleasant Valley Farms, has also spoken out and further shocked people with the revelations they have since destroyed ever single chicken living in the shed where the filming took place because the activists put them at risk of disease.
Earlier this year, Aldi faced huge backlash from customers for not stocking cage-free eggs at supermarkets in Australia.
Many threatened to boycott the supermarket unless they made changes and Aldi quickly caved, lining their shelves with free-range options.
Many Australians have taken to shopping at Costco since it landed on or shores, but some are now questioning where its Aussie eggs come from and if they treat their chickens the same way.
You can watch the confronting footage here. Warning: Graphic Content.