Ryan Gosling urges US retailer to stop 'abhorrent' conditions faced by factory farmed chickens

Costco has been criticised for its animal rights before

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The Independent Online

Ryan Gosling has written an open letter to a US retail giant urging them to abandon buying eggs from cage-reared factory hens.

Following the footsteps of singer Taylor Swift, whose call to Apple to pay artists during a resulted in a humiliating climb down from the company, the US actor condemned the “abhorrent cruelty” faced by caged chickens whose eggs are bought by international company Costco.

Gosling, 34, urged Costco’s CEO Craig Jelinek to stop buying eggs from farmers that keep their chickens in cages.

“Video footage revealed abhorrent cruelty including rows upon rows of birds confined in filth-laden cages with the mummified corpses of their cage-mates—eating, sleeping, defecating, and laying eggs on top of dead birds—and hens’ wings, legs, and necks trapped in the corroded wires of their battery cages,” he wrote.

Warning: Some viewers may find film distressing

The footage stems from an investigation carried out by the Humane Society of the United States at a Costco egg supplier in the US.

A spokesperson for the farm claimed that they food safety and “hen car programs are solid.” They told Supply Management that the “single incident should not be a cause for customer concern.”

A separate statement from Costco said that the farm was “behaving appropriately” following an inspection of the facilities earlier this week. 

Costco, the third largest retailer in the US, has been criticised for its suppliers’ treatment of animals in the past.

In 2010, campaigning organisation Mercy for Animals conducted an undercover investigation that exposed the treatment of veal – baby calves – at a farm in the US. Following the report, and amid intense public outcry, Costco announced it would no longer buy from farmers using the controversial “crate and chain” method.

Following the video, a company spokesperson told CNNMoney an investigation had been launched into the practise and conditions faced by the chickens at the farm.