Saturday, December 11, 2010

Nine flying reindeer cleared to land in Georgia on Christmas Eve

Department of Agriculture waives veterinary requirements

Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Tommy Irvin has granted a special 24-hour permit for nine flying reindeer to land in Georgia on the evening of Friday, Dec. 24, into the early morning hours of Saturday, Dec. 25.

The special permit waives routine veterinary requirements and inspections which protect the health of animals in the state and help prevent the introduction of exotic diseases. The reindeer named on the permit are: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and Rudolph. The permit application was filed this week by a North Pole toymaker named Santa Claus.

“After consulting with our state veterinarians, I concluded these reindeer did not pose any threat to agriculture or violate any of our biosecurity measures,” said Commissioner Irvin. “As it was explained to me, these reindeer will be moving very quickly and will not intermingle with any livestock in our state. In fact, they will not even touch the ground, but will only prance and paw on rooftops.”

Commissioner Irvin said he is extremely pleased to grant this waiver, his last, to Mr. Claus. While Santa has indicated no plans to retire, Commissioner Irvin is giving up the reins at the Georgia Department of Agriculture and will be retiring to his Habersham County farm in January.

“I, and the employees of the Georgia Department of Agriculture, wish Santa safe travels this year and the years to come as he and his team of reindeer make deliveries to all the good children of Georgia.”

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