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Elon Musk’s Medical Firm Neuralink is Accused of 1,500 Animals’ Needless Deaths

Elon Musk is in the spotlight again. It seems that when the SpaceX CEO is not firing thousands of employees without notice or reinstating former president Donald Trumps Twitter account, he likes to keep himself busy with the killings of over one thousand animals—for science. 

Just last week, Musk was showing off updates to his human brain chips and claiming that he would install one in himself when they were ready. However, the procedures were not going as smoothly as he made them seem to be, as a big portion of Neuralink’s staff has come out in the open that Musk’s demands to rush brain implant trials led to the needless deaths of 1,500 animals. 

At the moment, Neuralink Corp is undergoing an investigation for animal welfare violations, as reports state that since 2018, the company has killed about 1,500 animals, including monkeys, pigs, and sheep. Although the number is not necessarily indicative of malpractice, as medical companies of various kinds routinely use animals in experiments, and this is a required practice by law, the staff coming out on these issues is sufficient to cause concern. 

A lot of these animal deaths could have been prevented. Reports confirm that in 2021, 25 pigs received an implant of the wrong size for their heads, which caused them unnecessary suffering. The experiment was then repeated with 36 sheep, and both the sheep and the pigs were killed after the procedures. 

On another occasion, the staff inserted an implant into the wrong vertebra of two pigs, resulting in agonizing pain. The animals had to be euthanized to put an end to their suffering. Similar negligence was reported in the company’s treatment of monkeys when surgeons used the wrong surgical glue twice, leading to the suffering and death of two primates. 

Although in the earlier years of Nuralink, animals were taken care of, much more so than other research facilities, Musk had started to become impatient when the company failed to obtain regulatory approvals for clinical trials on humans. Some of Neuralink’s competitors, like Synchron, which is also developing a human implant, received FDA’s green light to begin human trials in 2021.

Neuralink records are under review at the moment as numerous references over several years to exploratory surgeries and three people with knowledge of the company’s research have rejected the claim that Neuralink avoids exploratory tests on animals.

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