Elon Musk’s brain-computer interface company Neuralink is reportedly under federal investigation for possible animal-welfare violations after 1,500 animals were allegedly killed during testing. The investigation was reportedly sparked by massive employee backlash to the mass death of animals.
Reuters reports that Neuralink, the brain-computer interface company founded by Elon Musk, is being investigated by federal authorities for potential animal welfare violations. This investigation is reportedly the result of internal staff complaints that allege the company is rushing its animal testing, leading to unnecessary suffering and deaths. The information comes from documents reviewed by Reuters and from sources familiar with the investigation and the company’s operations. Despite Neuralink’s wholesale slaughter of test animals, Musk claims that the company’s brain chip will be ready to test on humans in six months.
The US Department of Agriculture’s Inspector General has reportedly opened an investigation into Neuralink for potential violations of the Animal Welfare Act. The investigation was requested by a federal prosecutor and focuses on the company’s treatment of animals used in testing, according to sources close to the investigation.
The investigation into Neuralink’s treatment of animals used in testing has been prompted by growing employee discontent with the company’s practices. According to Reuters’ review of company documents and interviews with more than 20 current and former employees, some at the company felt that pressure from Musk to accelerate development has led to rushed and botched experiments on animals.
This has resulted in the need to repeat failed tests, leading to an increase in the number of animals being tested and killed. The documents reviewed by Reuters include audio recordings, emails, messages, presentations, and reports that have not previously been made public.
According to records reviewed by Reuters and sources with direct knowledge of the company’s operations, Neuralink has killed approximately 1,500 animals, including pigs, sheep, and monkeys, following experiments since 2018. The sources that spoke to Reuters say that this is a rough estimate as the company does not maintain precise records of the number of animals tested and killed. In addition to the animals mentioned, Neuralink has also conducted research using rats and mice. Breitbart News has previously reported that Musk faced criticism for causing “extreme suffering” in test animals.
Sources said that on multiple occasions over the years, Musk told employees to pretend they had a bomb strapped to their heads in an effort to get them to work faster. On one occasion, Musk told employees he would trigger a “market failure” at Neuralink unless they made more progress, which many employees saw as a threat to shut down the company.
Read more at Reuters here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan