A national doctors group is calling on Elon Musk to stop using animals in brain experiments for his Neuralink company, and is urging Austin Mayor Steve Adler to investigate the matter. Outside City Hall Wednesday morning, locals and representatives from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine held signs reading “Shut Down Elon Musk’s Animal Lab” and “Support Science, Not Cruelty.” In addition, a pair of extra-long CapMetro buses are moving through the city wrapped in ads featuring a caged monkey with the text “Elon Musk: Release the Videos! What Are You Hiding?” Inside all 400 CapMetro buses, ads carry the same message.
The group also sent a letter to Adler asking him to investigate Neuralink, to end any incentives that the city of Austin may provide to the company, and to urge the closure of its facility in Del Valle, which is currently under expansion. The letter to the Adler claims that Neuralink appears to have used a shell corporation to purchase the Del Valle land.
Neuralink came under scrutiny earlier this year when documents obtained by the Physicians Committee following a public records lawsuit revealed the company used macaque monkeys in experiments that often proved fatal in its development of a “brain-machine interface.” Hundreds of pages of veterinary and surgical records showed that the monkeys suffered from infections, seizures, and loss of motor function.
“There is no excuse for Neuralink’s cruel, scientifically questionable experiments,” says Ryan Merkley, director of research advocacy for the Physicians Committee. “Human-relevant, noninvasive methods already exist that allow patients to interact with computers using only their brains.”
Musk has not responded for comment.