Neuralink denies accusations of animal abuse and explains

Without really denying the many deaths of guinea pigs in recent years, Elon Musk’s company has reaffirmed its commitment to animal respect.

This week, the animal rights group Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) alerted the media to animal experiments by Neuralink, Elon Musk’s company dedicated to transhumanism and brain implantation. In question, the living conditions (and death) cruel of the guinea pigs used by the company, and in particular the monkeys. Between 2017 and 2020, 15 of 23 primates who received the Neuralink brain implant are believed to have diedmostly in “extreme suffering”.

Neuralink restores its truth

After a media outcry, the company finally spoke on social networks, strongly denying accusations of animal abuse raised by the PCRM. “It is important to note that these accusations come from people who oppose any use of animals in research”explains Neuralink in a press release, before recalling that “all new medical devices and treatments must be tested on animals before they can be ethically tested on humans”.

If Elon Musk’s firm is therefore not the only one to carry out animal tests, it also indicates that it first relied on external institutions to carry them out. Between 2017 and 2020, the bulk of the tests were therefore carried out by the California National Primate Research Center (CNPRC) in Davis, following which the company developed its “own internal animal program”.

Already sick monkeys

If the mortality rate among Neuralink guinea pigs is so high, the company believes, it is simply because the specimens used were mostly already condemned. In her press release, she explains that the first surgical tests were carried out on corpses, then on terminally ill animals, resistant enough to undergo general anesthesia, but intended to be euthanized. Already problematic health conditions, to which have also been added “aggressive interactions” between certain primates, which occurred before their care by the CNPRC specifies the firm of Elon Musk.

Regarding the 15 monkeys who died after brain implantation, Neuralink details: two specimens were euthanized in accordance with their medical records before the start of the tests. Six others experienced surgical complications involving products (yet approved by the FDA), machine failures, and postoperative infections. So many risks inherent in any surgical intervention, believes Neuralink, which prefers to highlight Pager, one of the monkeys who reacted positively to the implantationand that the whole world could see playing Pong last year.

Neuralink is committed to the well-being of its guinea pigs

On the sidelines of this development, the company also explained its objective of “design a care program that prioritizes animal needs, rather than focusing on human comfort alone”. In addition to the 550 m² of dedicated space, the firm also indicates that it has set up “a monthly rewards program” intended for its most exemplary employees in terms of animal protection and respect. In the longer term, Elon Musk even hopes offer its guinea pigs the choice to participate — or not — in its research… while waiting “looking forward to the day when animals are no longer needed for medical research”.

Neuralink’s full press release is available here

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