The countdown to Christmas is continuing and travel arrangements have now been confirmed for the visit of Santa Claus and his reindeer to Abington, Cheltenham, Springfield, and Upper Dublin Townships as well as Jenkintown and Rockledge Boroughs.
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has given Santa’s reindeer a clean bill of health for deliveries during Christmas Eve. Pennsylvania officials proceeded based on similar clearances issued by the State of Alaska.
“Today, Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding and Pennsylvania State Veterinarian Dr. David R. Wolfgang joined Santa Claus and his nine reindeer at Hersheypark Christmas Candylane to announce that they have received a clean bill of health and are cleared for take-off on December 24th,” according to a statement from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.
Santa Claus received the Certificate of Veterinary Inspection and Permit to Ship from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.
“The Bureau of Animal Health works to ensure that all of our state’s animals – and people – are safe and well, and this is a small reminder of the important work that goes on at all state departments of Agriculture,” said Secretary Redding. “We are happy to announce that, once again, Santa’s reindeer can safely deliver toys to the children of the Commonwealth and bring an extra bit of cheer to the holiday season.”
According to Pennsylvania officials, “The reindeer, answering to the names of Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, and Rudolph received clearance by Dr. Wolfgang’s counterpart in Alaska, State Veterinarian Dr. Robert F. Gerlach. Dr. Wolfgang then issued a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection and Permit to Ship on behalf of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”
“Such certificates are required as an assurance that contagious diseases are not carried across state lines,” continued the statement. “Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture veterinarians supply similar certifications for animals transported to other states.”
“One might think that state departments of agriculture are only concerned about the health of dairy cows and pigs, but we prioritize the safety of all domestic animals, even those with red noses and the magical ability to fly,” Dr. Wolfgang concluded.
The photographs are provided courtesy by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, 2018.