Courts & Crime

Humane Society drops lawsuits, Perdue drops labels

Chickens at Shady-Spot Farms in Seagrove, North Carolina (Kelly Bennett/MCT)
Chickens at Shady-Spot Farms in Seagrove, North Carolina (Kelly Bennett/MCT) MCT

The Humane Society of the United States has dropped two federal lawsuits, in exchange for Perdue Farms dropping use of the phrase “humanely raised” on the company’s Harvestland chicken labels.

The agreement announced Monday ends the legal clucking that began with an initial suit filed in 2010 in New Jersey. A second suit followed in Florida last year, likewise charging Perdue with false advertising. The Humane Society contended the birds advertised as “humanely raised” were, in fact, subjected to conventional industry practices.

Perdue rejected the allegations, but in the settlement agreed to stop using the label.

“We are pleased to see the claim removed from Harvestland’s packaging, which we view to be misleading,” Peter Petersan, director of Animal Protection Litigation for the Humane Society, said in a statement.

Herb Frerichs, general counsel for Perdue Farms, said in the joint statement that “Perdue is committed to treating animals with respect and to ensure their health and safety. We are pleased this lawsuit has been resolved.”

Several hours after the Humane Society and Perdue Farms settlement was announced, the following label settlement was announced as well:

“The Kroger Co.and Compassion Over Killing today announced the settlement of a federal case in California concerning Kroger’s Simple Truth “ raised in a humane environment” claim on chicken labels. The settlement requires plaintiff to dismiss her claims with prejudice, in exchange for Kroger agreeing to remove the “ raised in a humane environment” label claim from its Simple Truth chicken packaging.”