Friday, December 19, 2008

Health Requirements for Flying Reindeer Waived by State Agriculture Department

Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Tommy Irvin has granted a special 24-hour permit waiving the routine identification and other health requirements for nine flying reindeer slated to visit Georgia on the evening of December 24 and in the early morning hours of December 25.

The permit application was filed this week by a North Pole toymaker who signed the paperwork "Kris Kringle." The reindeer named on the permit are: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder, Blitzen and Rudolph.

Identification, laboratory testing, and certificates of veterinary inspection are part of Georgia’s health requirements which assist officials in protecting the health of animals in the state and help prevent the introduction of exotic diseases.

“After consulting with our state veterinarian, Dr. Carter Black, I concluded these reindeer did not pose any threat to Georgia agriculture or violate any of our biosecurity measures to keep out animal diseases,” said Commissioner Irvin. “As it was explained to me, these reindeer will be moving quickly, will only prance and paw on rooftops and will not intermingle with any livestock in Georgia.”

“Usually, few creatures are stirring that night,” Dr. Black added. “Not even a mouse.”

"We are pleased to grant the temporary waiver to Mr. Kringle,” said Commissioner Irvin. “I and the employees of the Georgia Department of Agriculture wish him safe travels as he and his reindeer make deliveries to the good children of Georgia."

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