Elon Musk’s Neuralink reportedly faces animal welfare probe

A man in a dark suit and tie looks to the left.
Elon Musk recently has promoted ambitious plans for his Neuralink venture, including developing implants that can go into the spinal cord and restore movement in patients suffering paralysis. But the company has yet to reach its primary goal of implanting a computer device in a human brain.
(Patrick Pleul / Associated Press)

Elon Musk’s brain-implant company Neuralink is under federal investigation for possibly violating the Animal Welfare Act amid staff complaints that its animal testing is being rushed, Reuters reported.

The investigation was opened in recent months by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of Inspector General at the request of a federal prosecutor, Reuters said, citing people familiar with the investigation and company operations.

Musk has revealed ambitious plans for his startup, saying last week that Neuralink is developing implants that can go into the spinal cord and potentially restore movement in someone suffering from paralysis, as well as an ocular implant meant to improve or restore human vision. During the event, Musk showed a video of a monkey “telepathically typing” on a screen in front of it.


Last year, Musk said Neuralink had installed a wireless implant in a monkey that enabled it to play video games with its mind.

Neuralink didn’t respond to a request for comment from Bloomberg. Musk and Neuralink representatives didn’t respond to Reuters, and a spokesperson for the USDA Office of Inspector General also declined to comment to the news outlet.

Elon Musk’s track record as a boss is an endless scroll of impulse firings, retribution, tone-deafness on race — and the impregnation of a subordinate.

Nov. 14, 2022

Neuralink has previously denied criticism that it mistreats its monkey test subjects, after facing complaints from an animal rights group.