Together with PETA, actor and comedian Lily Tomlin has spoken out against Ford and its use of animal testing in crash impact analysis.
In 2018, a study at Detroit’s Wayne State University, published in the Stapp Car Crash Journal, used the bodies of at least 27 pigs to assess the potential impact of a crash on small children. The pigs were killed prior to the test, which was co-funded by the Ford Motor Company.
The test involved pigs being held up by wires through their spines as a pendulum slammed into them. According to a spokesperson for Ford, it was necessary to “develop enhanced modeling for test dummies.”
They told the Detroit Free Press that it “improved safety of children in side-impact collisions.”
However, PETA maintains that no “other car company in the US has done such a thing in many years.” A press release by the organization notes that Ford promised in 2009 that it does not fund live animal testing.
The Ford spokesperson did not confirm whether or not the company was funding any further animal tests.
‘A return to the dark ages’
In collaboration with PETA, Tomlin wrote to Mary Wroten, Ford’s director of global sustainability and environmental, social, and governance. She asked that the company no longer uses animal tests unless they are required by law.
“Ford’s apparent return to the dark ages of animal testing reflects poorly on the company, the Motor City, and, frankly, on humanity,” writes Tomlin.
“We live today in an era of technological advances, in which high-speed computers and crash-test dummies are commonplace. There is just no need for unethically using animals as stand-ins for humans.”
PETA has put together a petition, asking that Ford adopt a formal policy against funding, commissioning, supporting, or conducting animal tests. It has already gathered more than 97,000 signatures. To add your name, click here.