Perdue Farms has agreed to remove the “Humanely Raised” label from its Harvestland chicken packaging as part of a settlement of federal cases filed in New Jersey and Florida. The suits were filed on behalf of consumers in the two states that purchased Perdue Farms’ Harvestland chicken.
The plaintiffs have agreed to dismiss their claims with prejudice in exchange for Perdue removing the “Humanely Raised” labels. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) was involved with the suits, filed in 2010 and 2013. The plaintiffs claimed that the labeling was misleading and that the chickens were subjected to inhumane treatment, a charge Perdue Farms had vigorously opposed.
Despite the settlement, Perdue still stands by its position, stating that the chickens are well cared for.
“Perdue rejects the plaintiffs’ allegations and maintains that its labels are not misleading in any way. Nonetheless, it has agreed to discontinue the labeling claim at issue,” said Herb Frerichs, general counsel for Perdue Farms. “Perdue is committed to treating animals with respect and to ensure their health and safety. We are pleased this lawsuit has been resolved.”
HSUS, meanwhile, considers the settlement a victory.“We are pleased to see the claim removed from Harvestland’s packaging, which we view to be misleading,” said Peter Petersan, director of animal protection litigation for HSUS. “We will continue to work to protect both animals and consumers.”