Doctors Say Elon Musk’s Company and University of California Broke the Law With Painful Neuralink Tests Conducted on Monkeys


A doctor’s organization with over 17,000 members has accused Elon Musk’s company of breaking the law by conducting painful Neuralink tests on primates.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine filed a formal complaint about the tests with the U.S. Department of Agriculture on February 10 for violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act related to invasive and deadly brain experiments conducted on 23 monkeys.

“UC Davis received more than $1.4 million from Elon Musk’s company Neuralink to carry out the experiments. The complaint is based on almost 600 pages of disturbing documents released only after the Physicians Committee filed an initial public records lawsuit in 2021. Also today, the Physicians Committee filed a second public records lawsuit in Yolo County Superior Court to compel the university to release videos and photographs of the monkeys. Most of the animals had portions of their skulls removed to implant electrodes in their brains as part of Neuralink’s development of a ‘brain-machine interface,’” the organization said in a press release.

The Physician Committee’s statement also points out in its complaint that “Neuralink and UC Davis staff failed to provide dying monkeys with adequate veterinary care, used an unapproved substance known as ‘Bioglue’ that killed monkeys by destroying portions of their brains, and failed to provide for the psychological well-being of monkeys assigned to the experiment. Macaque monkeys used in the experiment were caged alone, had steel posts screwed to their skulls, suffered ‘facial trauma,’ seizures following brain implants, and recurring infections at implant sites. In some cases, as a result of deteriorating health, Neuralink and UC Davis euthanized monkeys before they were even used in the planned experiment.”

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“UC Davis may have handed over its publicly-funded facilities to a billionaire, but that doesn’t mean it can evade transparency requirements and violate federal animal welfare laws,” says Jeremy Beckham, MPA, MPH, research advocacy coordinator with the Physicians Committee. “The documents reveal that monkeys had their brains mutilated in shoddy experiments and were left to suffer and die. It’s no mystery why Elon Musk and the university want to keep photos and videos of this horrific abuse hidden from the public.”

The university has refused to comply with records requests for photos and videos of the tests conducted on the animals.

“UC Davis cannot shield a private company from public scrutiny,” says Deborah Dubow Press, Esq., associate general counsel with the Physicians Committee. “Photos and videos of animals housed and experimented on in a public institution are public records. Neuralink can’t avail itself of public resources but evade public accountability.”

In a response to the complaint, Neurolink said “we are never satisfied with the current standards for animal well being and we will always push ourselves to do more for the animals that are contributing so much to humanity,” the company wrote.


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