Of the 23 primates who received the Neuralink brain implant between 2017 and 2020, many of them would have died in excruciating conditions, accuses an animal rights group.
In total, at least 9 American laws relating to animal protection would have been swept away by Elon Musk during the experimental tests of Neuralink. Launched in 2016, the project aimed to establish a device directly in the brain : in addition to putting a foot in trans-humanism, Elon Musk’s society also aimed to help people recover from head injuries, to cure depression, and to counter certain mental pathologies. In the longer term, the goal was also to succeed in Connecting to the Internet through brainpower alone.
After boasting about the progress of his project, especially during a show of force dating from last year where we were able to discover a monkey playing the game Pong by thought, the whimsical entrepreneur will however have to wait before making his first human tests.
While the billionaire was planning to implant his human chips this year, an animal rights group, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), today warned of the consequences of Neuralink: “Nearly all monkeys who received head implants suffered terrible debilitating effects on their health.” In a file of more than 700 pages which compiles autopsies and veterinary reports, we also learn that 15 of the 23 monkeys used as guinea pigs died after the tests.
It must be said that to implant its brain chips, Neuralink had to first drill holes in the skulls of primates, causing skin infections, uncontrolled vomiting, loss of limbs and cerebral hemorrhages.
A complaint of abuse
Last Thursday, February 10, the PCRM filed a complaint with the US Department of Agriculture. The organization accuses the University of California at Davis and Neuralink of 9 animal protection law violations, highlighting the “extreme suffering” and the many complications caused: “These highly invasive implants and their associated hardware, which are inserted into the brain after drilling holes into the animals’ skulls, have produced recurrent infections in the animals, significantly compromising their health, as well as the integrity of the research” .
For its part, the University of California did not wait to respond. The establishment that has stopped its collaboration with Neuralink in 2020 cleared himself of all responsibility, simply stating: “We strive to provide the best possible care for the animals in our care. Animal research is strictly regulated and UC Davis follows all applicable laws and regulations, including those of the United States Department of Agriculture”.
Elon Musk’s company has not yet spoken.