TALLAHASSEE (CBS Miami)
Santa and his nine reindeer have been given the all-clear to visit Florida.
On Thursday, the state’s Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services issued a Certificate of Animal Movement to Mr. and Mrs. Claus of the North Pole.
The certificate will allow their reindeer – Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, and Rudolph – to enter and exit all homes, domiciles, encampments, and premises in the state of Florida between the hours of 8 p.m. on Dec. 24 and 7 a.m. Dec. 25.
“It is a top priority of my department to make sure Santa and his reindeer are able to spread holiday cheer and bring presents to the children of Florida, who have been nice all year,” said Fried in a statement. “That’s why, as Florida’s regulator for the entry of many different animals, we’ve not only issued Santa’s necessary Certificate of Animal Movement, but we’re also waiving all of his fees again this holiday season. On behalf of our entire department, we wish Santa and his reindeer good luck and smooth travels on their busiest night of the year!”
Santa and the reindeer will fly across Florida skies, pulling a wooden sleigh with jingling bells attached, filled with brightly wrapped gifts. Port personnel will clean and disinfect the underside of the sleigh at the time of entry and conduct a short visual inspection of the reindeer.
Santa will also have his gloves and boots disinfected and will thoroughly wash his hands.
Santa’s reindeer have undergone the necessary tests to ensure they can safely handle significant changes in altitude and temperature on the journey and are fit for landing on rooftops.
Dr. Michael Short, the State Veterinarian, has noted that one of the reindeer named Rudolph appears to have a red nose – however, this is not a health concern. He also verified the reindeer have been vaccinated against diseases they could encounter on their trip around the world.