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Santa’s Reindeer Receive Clean Bill of Health from Pennsylvania Officials for Christmas Eve Deliveries

Harrisburg, PA – 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 24.

“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 Sec. 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.”

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. 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 said.

To learn more about the department’s efforts to protect animal health, visit

For audio, photos, and video from the announcement, click here.

MEDIA CONTACT: Shannon Powers - 717.783.2628

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