Musk's Neuralink is under investigation for killing 1,500 guinea pigs

Musk's Neuralink is under investigation for killing 1,500 guinea pigs

Musk's Neuralink is under investigation for killing 1

Elon Musk's impatience and obsession with productivity would have caused the unnecessary deaths of hundreds of animals, used as guinea pigs to test the chips of Neuralink, his neurotechnology company. This was reported by the same employees of the company, which is being investigated by the United States Department of Agriculture for violating the Animal Welfare Act.

“We are not moving fast enough. It's driving me crazy,” Musk allegedly wrote to Neuralink employees, as Reuters reports, urging them to work by imagining they have “a bomb strapped to their head” to make them go faster. Thus, the haste and pressure imposed by the boss would have led scientists to work using less precautions, to make errors during tests and to cause further suffering and deaths of the animals used in the experiments.

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Animals killed

In total, according to records reviewed by Reuters and sources with direct knowledge of the company's animal testing operations, Neuralink allegedly killed more than 1,500 animals including more than 280 sheep, pigs and monkeys as a result of experiments conducted since 2018. The sources have defined this figure as “approximate” , because the company does not keep precise records on the number of animals used as guinea pigs and killed, and above all “ higher than necessary ”.

Animal testing does not necessarily indicate that Neuralink has violated US regulations, because many companies test animals before testing humans to bring new products to market. However, employees at Musk's company told Reuters that pressure to speed up development of the chip would lead to many ill-advised mistakes, such as the use of inappropriate surgical glues or the wrong size of brain chips.

These errors have increased the suffering of the animals and caused the tests to fail, forcing the scientists to repeat the experiments several times and therefore to increase the number of animals used as guinea pigs and then killed. In some cases, the same researchers have admitted to having caused "extreme suffering" to some animals because of the tests, including a monkey that would have lost fingers and toes "perhaps due to self-mutilation" following an experiment .