Elon Musk’s Neuralink Under Investigation for Potential Animal Welfare Violations

Neuralink, the mind implant startup co-founded by Elon Musk, is below federal investigation for potential animal welfare violations and complaints from workers that its rushed animal testing is inflicting pointless struggling and loss of life, Reuters reported Monday. 

CEO Musk based Neuralink in 2016 with the aim of making know-how that connects folks’s brains to computer systems. The neurotech startup has created implantable chips that purpose to assist blind folks see and the paralyzed stroll. 

The investigation, opened by the US Department of Agriculture’s Inspector General, focuses on the Animal Welfare Act, which particulars how researchers ought to conduct the remedy and testing of animals, in accordance with Reuters. 

Musk’s aim of accelerating growth has prompted pointless hurt to the animals and careless experiments, leading to an elevated variety of take a look at animals being killed. There have been repeated or poorly ready experiments which have prompted animals’ pointless loss of life, the information company reported. 

Neuralink has killed 1,500 animals in complete since 2018, Reuters reported. This is not a exact estimate on account of record-keeping inaccuracies made by Neuralink however apparently accounts for greater than 280 sheep, pigs and monkeys. 

The overwhelming majority of animals killed are more likely to be rats and mice, and fundamental scientific analysis the world over makes use of each these animals as lab fashions for illness. It’s estimated that 800,000 animals are “killed” for analysis functions annually within the US, whereas animal shelters yearly kill nearly 1 million animals, in accordance with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.


The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has additionally criticized Neuralink’s testing practices, saying that the corporate has been “mutilating” monkeys within the pursuit of a brain-machine interface. 

In February, Neuralink responded to these criticisms, detailing it is “commitment to animal welfare” in a weblog publish. The publish defined the analysis it has been conducting on pigs and monkeys and revealed particulars about its future practices. 

The weblog publish additionally confirmed that six animals had been euthanized on the recommendation of veterinary workers at UC Davis, a collaborator on the corporate’s animal work. The causes diverse. One animal had a surgical complication associated to make use of of a organic adhesive referred to as BioGlue, one other had a problem with the mind chip itself, and 4 animals had been euthanized on account of mind chip-related infections.  

During a “show and tell” replace on Nov. 30, Musk stated the corporate can be pushing for human trials of its newest mind chip within the subsequent six months. It might want to acquire approval for its medical gadget from the US Food and Drug Administration to carry out such a trial. 

Neuralink did not reply to a request for remark. 

Updated Aug 5, 6:20 p.m.: Additional context added round animal euthanasia and deaths added.

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