Business & Real Estate

Foster Farms’ challenged on use of humane-certified label

A Los Angeles woman has filed a lawsuit seeking class-action status against Foster Farms and the American Humane Association, citing the use of the association’s humane-certified label on Foster Farms chicken as misleading.

The lawsuit also references a video in which a Foster Farms employee in Fresno is seen tearing feathers out of chickens, beating them and throwing them around.

In the lawsuit, Carol Leining said she paid more to buy chicken with the American Humane Association certification label because she believed it meant the chickens produced by Foster Farms were “afforded a comfortable existence and a quick and painless death.”

Leining’s lawsuit claims the association’s standards are not much different than industry standards, and the birds suffer from forced molting, beak-trimming and mutilation, among other practices that are still allowed under the association’s standards.

In a response Tuesday, Foster Farms said the original action filed by Leining was dismissed May 9 by Los Angeles Superior Court.

“The Fresno Sheriff’s Department investigation and the District Attorney determined that there was no evidence of systemic animal welfare abuse at Foster Farms’ Fresno facility,” a statement released to The Fresno Bee said.

Editor’s note: The version of this story on was changed July 14 to include a statement from Foster Farms.