Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Friend and the state’s Department of Agriculture issued Mr. and Mrs. Claus of the North Pole a Certificate of Animal Movement.
The issued certificate will allow the couple’s reindeer — Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, and Rudolph — to enter and exit all homes, domiciles, encampments, and premises in the Sunshine State between the hours of 8:00 p.m. on Dec. 24 and 7:00 a.m. on Dec. 25, through or over any U.S. border port.
“It is a top priority of my department to make sure Santa and his reindeer are able to spread holiday cheer and bring presents to the children of Florida, who have been nice all year,” Fried said. “That’s why, as Florida’s regulator for the entry of many different animals, we’ve not only issued Santa’s necessary Certificate of Animal Movement but we’re also waiving all of his fees again this holiday season. On behalf of our entire department, we wish Santa and his reindeer good luck and smooth travels on their busiest night of the year!”
Mr. Claus and the reindeer will fly across Florida skies pulling a wooden sleigh with jingling bells attached, filled with brightly wrapped gifts. Port personnel will clean and disinfect the underside of the sleigh at the time of entry and conduct a short visual inspection of the reindeer. Additionally, Mr. Claus will have his gloves and boots disinfected and will thoroughly wash his hands. These measures are intended to prevent the entry of any livestock diseases the team may encounter during deliveries to farms around the world prior to entering Florida.
On top of the normal disease testing requirements, the magical, flying reindeer have undergone additional tests to confirm that they can safely handle significant changes in altitude and temperature on their journey and are fit for rooftop landings. State Veterinarian, Dr. Michael Short, verified the reindeer have received their necessary and routine vaccinations to protect against diseases they could encounter on their trip around the world.
Nicholas Claus, the broker of Worldwide Gifts Unlimited, is still awaiting a national animal movement permit from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.