Costco Wholesale said Thursday a supplier accused by animal rights activists as cruel to laying hens is “behaving appropriately” and was visited by the warehouse clubs’ auditors as recently as this week.

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Costco Wholesale said Thursday a supplier accused by animal rights activists of being cruel to laying hens is “behaving appropriately” and was visited by the warehouse clubs’ auditors as recently as this week.

The Issaquah-based retailer said it would continue buying eggs from Hillandale Farms, which the Humane Society of the United States says kept hens at an egg farm in Pennsylvania in tightly packed crates, some of which contained dead animals.

“This week we’ve had our own people at the plant,” Costco Vice President Craig Wilson said in an interview. “They said this plant is a good, clean plant.”

The comments follow the release on Tuesday of an investigation by the Humane Society, which included undercover video footage showing grisly conditions at the Hillandale facility. The video was shot by an activist who worked at the farm for a month.

The Humane Society, which had previously praised Costco’s policies on animal issues, criticized the giant retailer this week for not having specific goals on phasing out of conventionally produced eggs.

Costco is a big seller of cage-free eggs: Wilson said the company expects to sell 60 million dozen cage-free eggs in 2015, up from 2.7 million in 2006.

But it’s still a minority of all eggs sold, and likely to remain so, as only 6 percent of eggs available in the U.S. are laid by cage-free hens, he said.

“We’re going to continue to work on that,” Wilson said, but “the market is going to have to change.”

Hillandale Farms said in a statement that the practices depicted in the Humane Society video “do not reflect our standards,” and resulted from the activist who shot the footage disregarding its procedures.

A Humane Society spokesman countered that “those cages existed long before our investigation, they’re still present, and it seems Costco will continue buying eggs from hens confined in them.”