Animal Rights Group Calls For Photos Of Animals That Died During Neuralink Experiments To Be Released
- An animal rights group claims that a US university has 371 photos showing Neuralink’s experiments on monkeys.
- The organization sued the university and filed a complaint with US regulators in February.
- UC Davis and Neuralink have refuted claims that their test animals suffered “extreme pain”.
- For more stories, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
Animal rights group suing University of California, Davis over experiments conducted for Neuralink said the university has 371 photos related to experiments on monkeys that were carried out to Elon Musk’s biotech company.
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine said UC Davis has 185 photos related to autopsies of animals that died during Neuralink experiments and another 186 photos from experiments performed on monkeys, which included the cutting of holes in monkeys’ skulls to implant electrodes in their brains.
The group said they learned of the photos through a legal document from UC Davis dated September 7, 2022. Between 2017 and 2020, Neuralink paid the university $1.4 million to use the facilities. and animals at UC Davis for testing, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine said. .
“UC Davis thinks the public is too stupid to know what they’re watching,” Ryan Merkley, director of research with the Physicians Committee, said in a statement. Press release. “But clearly the university is simply trying to hide from taxpayers the fact that it partnered with Elon Musk to conduct experiments in which animals suffered and died.”
A Neuralink spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment, and a UC Davis spokesperson referred Insider to a previous statement. In February, the institution said “the research protocols were carefully reviewed and approved by the institutional campus animal care and use committee” during the institution’s work with Neuralink.
“Animal research is strictly regulated, and UC Davis complies with all applicable laws and regulations, including those of the United States Department of Agriculture,” the statement said.
UC Davis released the statement after the animal rights group sued the university for not posting photos and videos of experiments it performed for Neuralink from 2017 to 2020. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has also filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, alleging that the institution violated federal animal welfare law.
Insider’s Isobel Asher Hamilton previously reported which the group said they obtained records showing the monkeys suffered “extreme suffering due to inadequate animal care and highly invasive experimental implants during the experiments”.
At the time, Neuralink responded to the accusations, denying several of the injuries reported by the animal rights group and saying the company is “absolutely committed to working with animals in the most humane and ethical way possible”. The company said it has since moved to using its own in-house facilities.
Ultimately, Neuralink is working to develop a brain-computer interface system that would be able to read and write brain activity. In the past, Musk has claimed that AI brain chips will one day be able to do anything from curing paralysis to giving people telepathic powers, referring to the device as “a Fitbit in your skull.”
Last year, the billionaire said the company planning to make the transition to implant the chips in monkeys to humans by the end of the year, but the device has yet to receive approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to begin trials on the man.