The Lead

One more sleep: Pa. vet clears Santa’s reindeer for duty

By: - December 23, 2021 12:04 pm

Santa’s reindeer received a clean bill of health Thursday.

Santa’s reindeer received a clean bill of health Thursday and are ready to make their annual Christmas Eve deliveries.

Pennsylvania State Veterinarian Dr. Kevin Brightbill met with Santa and his nine reindeer at Hersheypark Christmas Candylane Thursday to give Santa’s noble steeds a last-minute physical before they set out on their globe-trotting journey to deliver toys to children everywhere.

“I’m excited to announce that Santa’s reindeer are in good health-despite one’s very bright red nose-and ready to deliver toys to the good girls and boys of Pennsylvania tomorrow evening,” Gov. Tom Wolf said. “I’m grateful to the Department of Agriculture for coordinating to ensure not only a merry Christmas morning across the commonwealth but keep animals in Pennsylvania safe and healthy. All nine reindeer are physically fit and in good spirits, they’re ready to fly this holiday season.”

Veterinary Certificate for Santa’s nine reindeer.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s veterinarians require health certificates, such as the one Santa’s reindeer received, in order to cross state lines. The certificates, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said, ensure the animals are healthy and prevent contagious diseases from spreading.

“Thanks to Dr. Brightbill and his counterpart in Alaska, we can certify Santa’s reindeer are healthy and can safely fly across state lines,” Redding said. “Veterinary health inspections are a great preventative measure to ensure animals are healthy and able to travel. We greatly appreciate Santa taking these necessary steps to promote the wellbeing of his reindeer.”

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Cassie Miller
Cassie Miller

A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry.