The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) filed a complaint last week with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) claiming Neuralink and UC Davis violated the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).
Today, Neuralink has responded to the allegations in a lengthy blog post published to its website, noting right at the beginning that the allegations come from a group that opposes any use of animals in research.
Titled “Neuralink’s Commitment to Animal Welfare,” the post talks about the company’s past, present and future, specifically addressing some of the allegations made in the complaint.
One of those was about the use of “BioGlue”, which PCRM referred to as “an unapproved substance,” a claim which Neuralink denies saying it an “FDA-approved product.”
Neuralink also talks about how it presently cares for their rhesus macaque monkeys and other farm animals in response to claims of inadequate animal care
According to the company, their facility was built in consultation with United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspectors to make sure it meets and exceeds the requirements of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).
“In 2020, we opened our 6,000 sq ft vivarium, housing farm animals and rhesus macaques. The vivarium is staffed with caretakers who are passionate about animal well being, which is a central tenet of Neuralink’s philosophy.”
They also note Neuralink has never received a citation following any of the inspections from the USDA.
As for the future, Neuralink hopes to one day have a facility where their animals can choose to be part of experiments, giving them freedom of choice.
Some people want to contribute to medical research for various reasons. Some do not. Why can this not be the same for animals? Imagine a troop of macaques running and climbing trees together. One ventures off into a treehouse that has been equipped with RFID scanning, which securely pulls up that individual’s game settings. The animal can play and be reinforced for data collection, just as a human contributing to a clinical trial might.
The clear theme of the post is that Neuralink takes their commitment to animal safety and well being very seriously.
You can read the full post here.