Great news - Santa and his seven-member reindeer team can legally enter the State of California on the evening of Dec. 24 and the early morning hours the next day under a special 24-hour permit.
California State Veterinarian Annette Jones granted the permit which cleared all brand inspection and health requirements for nine reindeer to visit the Golden State. Brand inspections and health requirements help veterinarians prevent the spread of animal disease.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that similar permits have been approved by state veterinary officials in other states. On the federal level, USDA has ruled that Santa’s reindeer are disease free and can enter the U.S. without restrictions.
In California, a rotund, jolly man named “K. Kringle’ wearing a red suit and a white beard with a pocketful of candy canes completed the paperwork in person. He listed nine reindeer on the permit - Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder, Blitzen, and Rudolph.
“We consider it an honor to issue this permit to Mr. Kringle and do our part to ensure another successful trip,” said Secretary Karen Ross of the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
The California permit was approved based on two stipulations – Kringle’s reindeer may not co-mingle with other reindeer in the state, and no breeding be allowed during the visit.
Ross asked Kringle to deliver an extra gift to California agriculture, including a “few extra snow storms to help our farmers and ranchers with the drought.”