Ryan Gosling urges Costco to sell cage-free eggs

Canadian actor Ryan Gosling is lending his celebrity influence to a campaign urging the humane treatment of chickens sold to U.S. retail chain Costco.

Humane Society's video shows hens crammed in cages filled with filth, corpses

Canadian actor Ryan Gosling posted an open letter Monday urging Costco to sell only cage-free eggs, after the Humane Society posted a video showing chickens crammed in cages and treated with what he called 'abhorrent cruelty.' (Jack Plunkett/Invision/AP)

Canadian actor Ryan Gosling is lending his celebrity voice to a campaign urging the humane treatment of chickens sold to U.S. retail chain Costco.

In an open letter posted Monday, hosted by the Humane Society's site Cage Free Future, Gosling urged Costco CEO Craig Jelinek to stop buying eggs from suppliers that keep its chickens in cages.

Gosling condemned the "abhorrent cruelty" shown in a video released two weeks ago, taken by an undercover member of the Humane Society. The video shows chickens crammed in cages and surrounded by dirt and feces. Some clips showed workers removing dead, trampled bodies of hens that have long since died and lain "mummified" in their cages.

Warning: video contains graphic images

Gosling called for an end to Costco's practice of acquiring eggs from suppliers that keep their chickens caged like this — especially since the box art for eggs in retail spaces paint a different picture of their conditions.

"It is appalling that Costco has been selling these eggs with deceptive labeling on cartons featuring graphics of birds living out in a green pasture," Gosling's letter continued.

"You're already eliminating cages for veal calves and pigs — don't you feel that chickens also deserve the same mercy?"

According to the Seattle Times, Costco sent inspectors to Hillandale Farms, the Penn.-based supplier named in the Humane Society's video. Costco said that the supplier was "behaving appropriately" in its treatment of animals and that it was "a good, clean plant."

CBS News reports that Costco committed to using only cage-free eggs in 2007, but never specified a time frame for that promise.

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