Update: Whole Foods Severs Ties with CA Chicken Hatchery Exposed by COK

Written by Erica Meier

Chicken HatcheryLast week, COK — represented by the Animal Legal Defense Fund — filed a lawsuit against the California-based Cal-Cruz Hatcheries for unlawful business practices relating to undercover COK video footage documenting shockingly cruel conditions forced upon newly-hatched chicks. The complaint aims to stop the ongoing abuse of baby birds at this chicken hatchery which hatches chicks destined to be slaughtered for their meat.

In the wake of this announcement and related media coverage – including stories in the Santa Cruz Sentinel, Huffington Post, the UK’s Daily Mail, the Mercury News Tribune, and other outlets – Whole Foods Market issued this statement about severing its ties with Cal-Cruz Hatcheries:

“While Whole Foods Market does not have a direct relationship with Cal-Cruz, two farms that supply our Northern California and Southern Pacific region have sourced chicks from them. Both have broken ties with Cal-Cruz and as such, Whole Foods Market will no longer work with any farms that source from Cal-Cruz.

We take animal welfare very seriously. In fact, we adopted the 5-Step system in order to encourage the improvement of nationwide animal welfare practices. The Global Animal Partnership 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating system currently covers the welfare of each chicken on the farm and through transport. As the program expands, standards will also be developed for hatcheries, which encompasses the first 24 hours of life for chickens.”

Read more about this lawsuit as well as our undercover investigation, which prompted the Santa Cruz Animal Services Authority to impound 88 hatchlings and send dozens of them to a sanctuary.

Be sure to share this story with friends and family, encouraging them to take a stand against animal abuse by choosing vegetarian foods.