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6 Dec, 2022

Neuralink faces federal inquiry after killing 1500 animals in testing

Opens investigation0 Comments

According to Reuters, Neuralink is under federal investigation for potential violations of The Animal Welfare Act. Interviews with former and current staff say pressure from Musk to accelerate development has resulted in failed experiments that have had to be repeated, increasing the number of animals being tested and killed. It is estimated that the company has killed about 1500 animals, including more than 280 sheep, pigs, monkeys, rats and mice following experiments since 2018.

Mistakes included one instance in 2021 when 25 out of 60 pigs in a study had devices that were the wrong size implanted in their heads, an error that could have been avoided with more preparation. The experiment was repeated with 36 sheep. All pigs and sheep were euthanised after the experiment. On another occasion, staff accidentally implanted Neuralink’s device on the wrong vertebra of two different pigs during two separate surgeries.

Musk and other Neuralink executives did not respond to requests for comment. A spokesperson for the USDA inspector general declined to comment. US regulations do not specify how many animals companies can use for research and the total number does not necessarily indicate that Neuralink is violating regulations or standard research practices.

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