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Elon Musk's firm Neuralink under scanner over animal abuse claims

Elon Musk’s start-up medical device company, Neuralink, has come under the scanner of the US government over alleged animal-welfare violations. More than 20 current and former staff have claimed that  since 2018, roughly 1,500 animals, including more than 280 sheep, pigs and monkeys, have been killed due to experiments.

Elon Musk firm Neuralink under scanner over animal abuse claims gcw
First Published Dec 6, 2022, 5:37 PM IST

Elon Musk's Neuralink, a medical device business, is under investigation by the federal government for possible violations of animal welfare rules, amid complaints that animal testing is being rushed to achieve results after missing several deadlines. This occurs only days after the richest man in the world declared that he feels at ease having a Neuralink brain chip implanted in himself. Neuralink Corp. is working on a brain implant that it thinks can restore movement to paralysed patients and treat other neurological conditions.

The investigation also comes amid rising discontent among Neuralink staff members, who assert that Elon Musk's urge to hasten development has led to failed tests that have led to more animal deaths and suffering, according to Reuters.

Although it is unclear if the investigation's complete scope includes the same alleged issues with animal experimentation that Neuralink staff members cited,

Also Read | Neuralink human trials soon, says Elon Musk; plans to get one chip for himself

According to the report, the corporation has killed over 1,500 animals overall, including more than 280 lambs, pigs, rats, mice, and monkeys after trials since 2018. The business does not keep accurate statistics on the number of animals tested and killed, according to the sources, who described that number as a rough estimate.

The overall number of animals killed does not necessarily mean that Neuralink is doing its study in violation of laws or best practises. Numerous businesses frequently employ animals in research to better human health care, and they are under financial pressure to launch treatments as soon as possible. When tests are finished, the animals are usually put to death, frequently so that they may be dissected for study reasons after death.

More than a year ago, Neuralink showed a monkey with a brain chip using only its thoughts to play a computer game.

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