State veterinary officials clear Santa’s reindeer for flight
Santa, portrayed by Barry Klinger, looks Vixen the reindeer during a press conference, announcing that Santa’s reindeer have received a clean bill of health and are cleared for take-off on December 24, at Hersheypark Christmas Candylane on Wednesday, December 21, 2022 (Commonwealth Media Service photo).
Pennsylvania’s top veterinarian gave Santa’s nine reindeer a clean bill of health on Wednesday, granting the reindeer clearance for their Dec. 24 toy deliveries.
Dr. Kevin Brightbill, Pennsylvania’s state veterinarian, and Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said that they had received a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection from the North Pole, reporting that the reindeer are “physically fit for air travel” ahead of their 41-million-mile trip to deliver approximately 111 million presents all across the world.
“I’m very pleased to announce as the state veterinarian that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has received its official certificate of veterinary inspection from the North Pole,” Brightbill said. “I can tell you that Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, meaning thunder, Blitzen, meaning lightning, and Rudolph, despite his very red nose, have all been cleared for takeoff.”
Brightbill added that the successful veterinary inspections mean that “they’ve been visibly inspected and are free of infectious and contagious diseases.”
“As we’ve heard these reindeer have been cleared. They are in good health, and we are in good spirits,” Redding said. “We’re ready for Christmas Eve and these reindeer are ready to fly around the Commonwealth and around the world.”
Redding also took time to acknowledge the work of veterinarians and animal caretakers who keep animals, such as Santa’s reindeer, in good health all year round.
“We thank our animal health colleagues both here in Pennsylvania, and to the north pole of Alaska, for the clearance they have given these reindeer, their important work brings holiday cheer to the families of Pennsylvania, and of course around the world,” Redding said. “So to all of the animal caretakers and our veterinarians and folks who are entrusted with our animals. Thank you for what you do.”
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