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NEWSFLASH -- Santa's Reindeer Issued Permit from USDA to Enter the U.S.

Posted by Dr. Peter Merrill, APHIS Director of Animal Imports in Animals Plants
Feb 21, 2017

BREAKING NEWS out of Washington DC as the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) today issued a movement permit to Mr. S. Claus of the North Pole, a broker with Worldwide Gifts, Unlimited.  The permit will allow reindeer to enter and exit the United States between the hours of 6 PM December 24, 2013 and 6 AM December 25, 2013, through or over any northern border port.

“During this season of giving, USDA wants to do everything in its power to help Santa,” said Dr. John R. Clifford, USDA’s Chief Veterinary Officer.  “We agreed to waive the normal application fees and entry inspection/overtime costs, provided he winks his eye and wishes port personnel a Merry Christmas at the time of crossing.”

APHIS also waived the normally applicable disease testing requirements, as the North Pole is recognized by APHIS as negligible risk for all livestock diseases and at a recent inspection, the reindeer were found to be healthy and able to prance and paw with each hoof.

As a condition of entry, the reindeer must be certified by Santa Claus as never having been fed anything other than hay, sugar plums, and gingerbread.  The reindeer must also be individually identified with microchips or official eartag identification, and must respond to the names ‘Dasher’, ‘Dancer’, ‘Prancer’, ‘Vixen’, ‘Comet’, ‘Cupid’, ‘Donner,’  ‘Blitzen’ and ‘Rudolph’ when interacting with port personnel.  No more than one reindeer in the group may be visibly affected by ‘Rednose Syndrome’, and upon entry, port personnel will visually inspect the reindeer to ensure they are healthy and fit for continued travel.

They will arrive pulling a wooden sleigh that has jingling bells attached and is filled with brightly-wrapped gifts.  Port personnel will clean and disinfect the runners and underside of the sleigh at the time of entry.

“With these steps completed, the reindeer will continue their journey across the country and around the world, spreading holiday cheer as they go,” said Clifford.

APHIS regulates the movement of cervids, including reindeer, to protect the health of America’s livestock population.  The permitting process provides assurance that only healthy animals enter the United States.

Category/Topic: Animals Plants

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Leslie Glass
Dec 23, 2013

I found this story very heartwarming and reminiscent having worked for USDA APHIS Veterinary Services for 15 years as an Export Document Examiner for pets and animals being exported out of the US. In addition to the smile, the story brought back many fond memeories of my time working for APHIS. Thank you Dr. Clifford!

Sean B
Dec 23, 2013


Dr. Carly Willeford
Dec 23, 2013

So Sweet! Enjoyed and re-posted! Merry Christmas!

Dec 24, 2013

Thank you for such an amazing post! Happy Holidays!

Andy Tuck
Dec 24, 2013

Santa is leaving a ton of West Virginia coal at APHIS offices.

Naughty or Nice?
Dec 24, 2013

"never having been fed anything other than hay, sugar plums, and gingerbread" -- Oh dear. We always leave an apple for Rudolph; I hope we haven't run afoul of UDSA guidelines . . .

Dec 24, 2013

Just shows how asinine our govt agencies have become. This is insulting and stupid and proves that the USDA needs to be disbanded.

Dec 24, 2013

Great to see a sense of humor. One of the best articles on the site and covered all bases. Do one for the Easter Bunny as we'll. Thanks for the laugh!

Dec 24, 2013


Stan W
Dec 24, 2013

"The permit will allow reindeer to enter and exit...through or over any northern border port." So he doesn't have permission to enter or exit through the Southern border? I guess Santa is going to have to take the long way to Mexico after her finishes delivering gifts in the United States. :P

Bark Master
Dec 24, 2013

At Brooklyn Bark we posted this on our Facebook page so all the good dogs and kitties in Brooklyn can be prepared for their treats when they wake up tomorrow morning. Thank you!

Dec 24, 2013

Naughty or Nice? As long as you didn't let Rudolph carry the apple over the CA state line, I think you will be okay.

Dec 24, 2013

Not heart warming, very troubling, while y'all sit in your homes warm and comfortable people in the rural west have been locked out of their mountains because of this exact mentality that the USDA has some great authority to grant or deny anything they want. With the short budgets of the USDA I'd hope you'd have been things to do that put nonsense like this out.

Dec 24, 2013

NORAD just tracked him entering the country via the Bahamas to Miami!!!
Rogue reindeer in Florida!

Sherry Burris
Dec 25, 2013

Luv this..heartwarming..thank you!

Dec 25, 2013

In the days before the MARXISTS stole the American Govt away from its RIGHTFUL OWNERS this kind of stuff was "cute". Now its nothing more than a CRYSTAL BALL into Americas Marxist future. You will not celebrate Christmas without a GOVT PERMIT is our future thanks to corrupt incompetent Govt workers. We will NEVER forget what you mofos have done to America.

Jon D
Dec 25, 2013

This is clearly a lie and foolishness. As usual the govt wasting the money on stuipd things. Also what lesson are they teaching their kids, to lie about a man with reindeer that does not exist.

Steven Eric VanDusen
Dec 27, 2013

Wtf. Who do you you people think you are. This is ridiculous. Now you think you can regulate santa clause . Goes to show how stupid and pathetic our govrrnment had become . Not happy unless they can tell everyone what to do . Next it will be the easter bunny. Can we all say SHEEEEEEEPLE.

Dec 27, 2013

Between this, and NOAA running around saying "Mermaids Don't Exist", i am beginning to think that the US government has way too much free time on its hands. Either that, or like Mitch said, it's a frakking crystal ball. Whatever. >_<