USDA APHIS | THIS IS JUST IN: USDA Issues Permits for Santas Reindeer to Enter the US

(Washington, DC, December 21, 2023) The US Department of Agricultures (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) today issued a transit permit to GS Nicholas Claus of North Pole, a distributor with Gifts and Good Cheer, Inc. The permit will allow the reindeer to enter and exit the United States between the hours of 6:00 p.m. on December 24, 2023, and 6:00 a.m. on December 25, 2023, local time, through or at any border crossing. in the US.

“The USDA is pleased to grant Mr. Claus and his reindeer a special permit to enter the United States, ensuring a smooth journey for the joy they bring each holiday season,” said Jenny Lester Moffitt, Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs. “We extend a warm welcome to Mr. Claus and recognize the vital role of US milk and cookies in fueling his festive flight.”

Veterinary officials ensure that the reindeer meet all entry requirements before issuing the permit. Dr. Rosemary Sifford, USDAs Chief Veterinary Officer, stated: In a recent inspection, the reindeer was found to be healthy and able to jump and wing on each hoof.

The health certificate noted that one reindeer, Rudolph, had a minor physical anomaly. However, APHIS indicated that Rudolph’s red nose, while bright, is normal for him and not a concern.

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

The USDA confirmed that the reindeer arrive pulling a wooden sleigh with jingling bells attached, filled with brightly wrapped gifts. Dock personnel clean and disinfect the runners and bottom of the raft upon entry. They will also conduct a brief visual inspection of the reindeer. Mr. Claus was asked to disinfect his boots and wash his hands thoroughly. These measures are intended to prevent the introduction of any livestock diseases that the team may encounter during delivery to farms and homes around the world before entering the United States.

Mr. Claus also provided an advance list of what port staff should expect upon their arrival. This includes a variety of food items, all of which come from approved locations and none of which pose a threat to US animal or plant health.

It is important that Gifts and Good Cheer, Inc. will take all the right measures and precautions to protect against the possible entry of pests and diseases, explained Mr. Claus. I appreciate USDAs help every year as we prepare for our big night.

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Bodhi Day, Noche Buena, Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa, Diwali, or other holidays this time of year, the USDA wishes you a happy and healthy season filled with honored traditions and celebrations.

Additional Information

The USDA touches the lives of all Americans every day in many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, the USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on stronger local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring to access safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, build new markets and streams. of income for farmers and producers who use climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department through to remove systemic barriers and build a workforce that is more representative of America. To learn more, visit

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