Learn about the ongoing highlights of EBAA's Foster Compassion Campaign:
September 9, 2005: EBAA launches www.fosterfacts.net. The graphic documentation reveals systematic animal neglect at Foster Farms poultry operations.
September 20, 2005: EBAA submits an animal cruelty complaint to the following entities: Merced County Animal Control; Merced County Sheriff's Department; Merced County District Attorney's Office; National Chicken Council; California Poultry Federation; Foster Farms Consumer Affairs. EBAA has yet to receive a single response.
October 2, 2005: Pacifica Radio features EBAA's investigative findings at Foster Farms during the one-hour program Factory Farms: Human Health, Food Safety, The Environment, and Animal Welfare.
October 16, 2005: EBAA holds its first Foster Farm Cruelty Demonstration outside of Safeway, one of the top retailers of Foster Farms products. KPFA Radio covers the demonstration in Oakland, California.
October 25 - 29, 2005: Nearly half of the employees at Foster Farms' chicken slaughterhouse in Livingston, California join a walkout. EBAA interviews employees and union organizers on the picket line. Read excerpts from EBAA's transcripts.
October 26, 2005: Over 30 individuals attend EBAA's film screening of Fostering Cruelty in Chicken Production at UC Berkeley.
November 15, 2005: EBAA organizes a Foster Farms Call-In. Across the nation, concerned consumers ask Foster Farms to improve conditions for birds.
November 21, 2005: EBAA, along with The Humane Society of the United States and five poultry consumers, file a lawsuit against the USDA
challenging the exclusion of poultry from the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act of 1958. Read The Washington Post story.
EBAA writes Safeway and Costco, asking both food companies to support the Foster Compassion Campaign. Safeway and Costco are the top retailers of Foster Farms products.
November 23, 2005: The Humane Society of the United States, the nation's largest animal protection organization representing more than nine million members and constituents, submits a letter to the Foster Farm CEO Ron Foster, asking the company to provide proper care for chickens.
Fostering Cruelty in Chicken Production airs on Undercover TV in San Francisco, CA.
November 25, 2005: On Black Friday, Foster Farms announces its so-called excellent record of humane practices. Ironically, the Foster Farms press release broadcasts on the same day EBAA demonstrates at six Safeway stores in the San Francisco Bay Area. CBS-5 covers te EBAA's demonstrations on the 11 PM News Lead Story.
November 29, 2005: EBAA announces that it is organizing a Foster Farms Day of Action on December 17th at Safeway stores across California.
Week of December 5, 2005: Foster Farms adds a new section to its website, stating its purported commitment to animal welfare. The section is entitled, Is Foster Farms concerned about the welfare of the animals it raises?
December 13, 2005: EBAA, along with a poultry consumer, submits a formal complaint against Foster Farms to the California Department of Justice (Office of Attorney General). According to EBAA's complaint, "Foster Farms products are produced under a set of conditions vastly different than what the term 'humane' reasonably and objectively represents. The actual set of conditions at Foster Farms include: husbandry methods that intentionally induce prolonged pain and suffering, inadequate veterinary care and unsanitary conditions."
December 14, 2005: KPFA Radio broadcasts a story about EBAA's legal complaint against Foster Farms.
December 16, 2005: Challenging the truth and accuracy of the company’s internet and print marketing schemes, EBAA, along with a poultry consumer, submits a complaint against Foster Farms to the Better Business Bureau office in Fresno, California.
December 17, 2005: From the San Francisco Bay Area to San Diego, EBAA educates hundreds of shoppers on Foster Farms' inhumane treatment of animals at Safeway stores for a Foster Farms Day of Action.
December 21, 2005: EBAA organizes a Safeway Call-In. Across the nation, concerned consumers ask Safeway to stop supporting Foster Farms. Safeway is one of Foster Farms’ largest retailers. As a leader on animal welfare in the food industry and major retailer of Foster Farm products, Safeway plays an important role in influencing compassionate business practices for Foster Farms.
Fostering Cruelty in Chicken Production airs on Undercover TV in San Francisco, CA.
December 28, 2005: EBAA writes Raley's, Bel Air and Nob Hill Foods, asking the grocery chains to support the Foster Compassion Campaign. Raley's, Bel Air and Nob Hill Foods are retailers of Foster Farms products.
January 2, 2006: On the Morning Show, KPFA Radio broadcasts a 20-minute story about consumer deception and animal cruelty at Foster Farms. KPFA Radio invites Foster Farms and EBAA to be apart of the segment. However, the poultry company declines to be interviewed.
January 4, 2006: EBAA presents Fostering Cruelty in Chicken Production at the Humanist Hall Film Festival. The East Bay Express previews the event.
January 5 - 11, 2006: Riding off of a successful corporate outreach campaign, EBAA launches a new focus with Foster Farms retailer - Costco. At seven Costco Clubs in Northern California, EBAA educates hundreds of shoppers about Foster Farms production practices. Costco Wholesale Corporation is the largest membership warehouse club chain in the world and sells Foster Farms products.
January 31, 2006: EBAA organizes a Costco Call-In. Across the nation, concerned consumers ask Costco to join the Foster Compassion Campaign.
February 1, 2006: Satya Magazine features the story of Emery, a rescued Foster Farms chicken.
The California Lawyer publishes Bird by Bird: Should chickens have the same rights as poodles?, which details the lack of enforcement of state cruelty laws with respect to California poultry production. EBAA spokesperson states in the article: "There's a huge problem with enforcement. In the Central Valley, especially, big agricultural businesses are so wound up in the local political scene that no one wants to take them on."
February 6, 2006: Eager to open a dialogue concerning Foster Farms, EBAA submits a second letter to Costco - asking for their support of the Foster Compassion Campaign.
February 15, 2006: Safeway announces that it will form a committee to promote humane practices for farmed animals. As the news story reports, the Pleasanton, California-based company "would contact its vendors who supply it with poultry products (including Foster Farms) to 'suggest' they adopt controlled-atmosphere killing techniques (which is more humane than current slaughter practices)." Read The East Bay Business Times story.
February 17, 2006: EBAA requests the following information from Foster Farms for review:
- A copy of the company's most recent Animal Welfare Audit report
- A copy of the company's animal welfare protocols
- A copy of the company's employee training procedures regarding
animal handling at hatcheries, grow-out ranches and processing plants
- A summary of the credentials and qualifications of the company's Animal Welfare Officer
February 24, 2006: Nearly six months since the Foster Compassion Campaign began, Foster Farms finally issues a "response" to EBAA's cruelty investigation. Tellingly, however, Foster Farms does not respond to the merits of EBAA's cruelty investigation. Instead, Foster Farms attempts to silence EBAA's criticism of the company's abusive practices by demanding that EBAA immediately take down its campaign website and stop making reference to the name Foster Farms in its commentary.
March 9, 2006: The Equal Justice Center and Western North Carolina Workers' Center -- two agricultural worker safety advocacy groups -- joined EBAA's and HSUS' lawsuit challenging the exclusion of poultry from the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act of 1958. "Slaughterhouse workers must struggle to hang terrified birds upside down at incredible speeds. As a result, they suffer serious injuries such as lacerations, broken bones, repetitive motion injuries, and respiratory problems from inhaling dust, dirt, and feces," states Anita Grabowski of the Equal Justice Center. Read the Occupational Hazards story.
March 10, 2006: EBAA submits a formal response to Foster Farms' February 24, 2006 letter. Read an excerpt from the letter: "Foster Farms' take-down demand based on initial interest confusion and likelihood of confusion amounts to nothing more than a markholder's attempt to insulate itself from criticism, or, at a minimum, to minimize consumers access to such criticism."
March 17, 2006: EBAA submits a second letter to the California Department of Justice - requesting the Attorney General to stop Foster Farms from engaging in false and misleading advertising campaigns.
March 29, 2006: Following the death of a Foster Farms employee in Delhi, California on March 24, 2006, EBAA requests injury and death reports from U.S. Department of Labor - OSHA and California Division of Occupational Safety and Health.
The Attorney General refers EBAA to the California Department of Food and Agriculture to pursue its Foster Farms false advertising case.
April 5, 2006: The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP)announces that Foster Farms chicken products are contaminated with arsenic. Read the full report by the IATP.
April 7, 2006: The Berkeley Daily Planet runs a story regarding EBAA's Foster Compassion Campaign. Read the full story.
April 18, 2006: EBAA organizes a Costco Online Outreach Day. Across the nation, concerned consumers by email ask Costco to support the Foster Compassion Campaign.
April 20, 2006: The California Department of Food and Agriculture responds to EBAA. Read an excerpt from the letter by Richard Estes of the CDFA: "The Department has no authority to regulate the advertising of poultry products. Nor does it have authority to regulate the conditions by which poultry is produced...My understanding is that the condition of poultry in production facilities may be addressed by local animal health authorities, if they are inclined to do so, but, as this is not my area of expertise, you should independently investigate it."
EBAA originally submitted its complaint to the local animal health authorities in Merced County in September 2005 with no response.
April 26, 2006: Foster Farms announces that it will re-launch its Imposters Chicken Campaign after a twelve-month hiatus. Annually, Foster Farms spends approximately $11 million on company marketing while poultry welfare is compromised.
April 29, 2006: EBAA organizes a three-part outreach day at Costco locations in Richmond, San Leandro and Hayward, California.
May 13, 2006: For the month of May, EBAA focuses on educating Costco poultry consumers in San Francisco by organizing the first of two leafleting events.
May 27, 2006: EBAA organizes its second outreach event at the San Francisco Costco Club with overwhelming support from consumers.
June 1, 2006: The National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus announces its referral of EBAA's false advertising case (originally filed in December 2005) to the Federal Trade Commission for possible law enforcement action against Foster Farms. Read the NAD press release.
June 4, 2006: EBAA “fosters compassion” by distributing informative literature about Foster Farms to shoppers outside of Costco Clubs in Modesto with the Direct Action Anti-Authoritarians Collective and Merced.
June 5, 2006: The Merced Sun-Star covers the Merced Costco outreach event.
June 6, 2006: Food & Water Watch releases a new report, citing Foster Farms' failure to meet federal standards for salmonella. Read the full report.
June 16, 2006: EBAA writes Albertsons and Berkeley Bowl Marketplace, asking the companies to support the Foster Compassion Campaign. Albertsons and Berkeley Bowl Marketplace are retailers of Foster Farms products.
July 14, 2006: EBAA launches an online advertising campaign through www.Google.com to educate consumers about Foster Farms animal cruelty.
July 23, 2006: In Los Angeles and San Francisco, KTYM-AM-1460 and KQKE-AM-960 broadcasts a story about consumer deception and animal cruelty at Foster Farms. Listen online.
August 2, 2006: Farm Sanctuary releases a new report, tagging Foster Farms for its poor slaughterhouse-bound transportation methods of poultry. Read the full report.
August 4, 2006: Foster Farms announces that it will close its chicken processing plant in Creswell, Oregon. Read the story.
August 20, 2006: EBAA “fosters compassion” by distributing informative literature about Foster Farms to shoppers outside of Costco Clubs in Fresno. The City of Fresno is home to one of the chicken processing plants owned by Foster Farms.
August 26, 2006: Over 40 individuals attend EBAA's film screening of Fostering Cruelty in Chicken Production at AK Press in Oakland.
September 6, 2006: A federal judge opposes a motion to dismiss the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act lawsuit, which challenges the exclusion of poultry from basic protection, against the USDA. Read the story.
September 15, 2006: Foster Farms announces that its Imposters Chicken Campaign will begin re-airing on TV at the end of September. In addition, EBAA expands its online advertising campaign with www.Google.com to educate consumers in Oregon and Washington about animal abuse at Foster Farms. View the Google Ad.
September 18, 2006: Berkeley Bowl Marketplace, the largest supermarket in Berkeley, CA, agrees to allow both East Bay Animal Advocates and Foster Farms the opportunity to express their positions via point-of-sale notices regarding the treatment of Foster Farms Chickens. In a letter to EBAA, Glenn Yasuda, the president of Berkeley Bowl, expresses his commitment to truth-in-advertising: "Informed customers will have a choice whether to buy Foster Farms chickens or not. If your notice is successful in convincing customers not to buy Foster Farms chickens, your objective has been met."