Elon Musk's Neuralink Under Fire for Killing 1,500 Laboratory Animals

Neurlink's development of a mind reader may have involved "unnecessary" animal deaths. Elon Musk's company reportedly killed some fifteen hundred laboratory animals, Reuters news agency reported.

Both current and former Neuralink employees report the high pressure under which they had to develop the mind reader. That high pressure caused many experiments on laboratory animals to fail. The test then had to be redone on other animals. As a result, many animals died unnecessarily.

The U.S. regulator launched an investigation into Neuralink several months ago, according to Reuters. The company is suspected of violating animal welfare laws, according to news service sources.

Neuralink began animal testing in 2018. The company killed a total of 1,500 animals, including more than 280 sheep, pigs, and monkeys. The figures are a rough estimate, according to Reuters, because the company does not keep accurate records of the number of animals tested and killed. Neuralink has also conducted research with rats and mice.

Earlier this week, Neuralink announced that its mind reader could be tested on humans within six months. To do so, the company must still get approval from U.S. health authorities.

Neuralink is working on a coin-sized implant to be inserted into the skull. The idea is to communicate directly with a computer via the brain. That should enable paralyzed people to move their muscles again. Neuralink also wants to give blind people their sight back.