A major international pharmaceutical company has spent more than $1 million to convert a North Baton Rouge veterinary drug manufacturing plant into one that manufactures ear tags for livestock.
Merck Animal Health said 33 people worked at the plant at 2667 W. Dual St., roughly the same number of employees that worked in the building when it was a biopharmaceutical manufacturing facility. Employee salaries are quite similar and “the vast majority” of workers have been retained and trained to work on new equipment.
The building has been converted into a factory that manufactures Toutflex Livestock Intelligence branded ear tags in response to growing customer demand.
Merck said the market for livestock identification tags has grown rapidly, driven by automation in agriculture and the increased need to track and monitor animals to prevent and control disease, said Merck. Scott Bormann, senior vice president, North America business operations, for Merck Animal Health, said in a statement.
“Our investment in Baton Rouge positions us for strong long-term growth and allows us to remain a valuable partner to our loyal customers through reliability and responsiveness to their needs,” he said.
The company plans to increase investment in the local factory over the next two years, adding more equipment and possibly more workers.