California State Veterinarian Dr. Annette Jones has granted a 24-hour permit clearing all brand inspection and health requirements for nine reindeer scheduled to visit California on the evening of December 24 and in the early morning hours of December 25.

Santa and crew

The permit application was filed via email and followed by a Zoom meeting bringing together CDFA Animal Health Branch staff and a rotund, jolly man with a red suit, white beard, and a pocketful of candy canes. The signature on the application reads, “K. Kringle.”

State law mandates that all animals entering California be individually identified. The nine reindeer named on the permit are: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder, Blitzen and Rudolph.

The permit was granted with two conditions: the nine reindeer may not co-mingle with other reindeer in the State of California, and the visiting reindeer may not be used for breeding purposes while in the state. They are, however, invited to partake of the Golden State’s famous and varied agricultural bounty if they need to refuel.

“We are pleased to issue this permit to Mr. Kringle,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “We wish him safe travels and plenty of California milk and cookies as he and his reindeer make deliveries to the good children of our state.”

With COVID-19 firmly in mind, Santa Claus recently shared the safeguards he is taking to meet health and safety requirements around the world.