December 15, 2023

Santa Claus Cleared to Spread Christmas Cheer

Missouri Department of Agriculture approves livestock movement permit for nine healthy reindeer.


Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn and Missouri State Veterinarian Dr. Steve Strubberg approved livestock movement papers for nine reindeer. Mr. Santa Claus from The North Pole applied for the permit this week, providing proof of the healthy herd through a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection signed by licensed veterinarian Dr. Hermey Elf.

Team leader, Rudolph, underwent additional testing to prove he’s the most famous reindeer of all.

“We love to see Santa recognize so many on his nice list throughout Missouri this year,” said Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn. “Santa’s elves have been working hard to provide toys for all children. We’re excited that our team gets to ensure all of Santa’s reindeer are ready for flight and gifts get delivered across the Show-Me State this Christmas.”

The permit approves Mr. Claus, his sleigh and nine reindeer for flight starting the night before Christmas, with a few exceptions for early deliveries.

“Our veterinary staff works to allow timely movement of healthy animals across Missouri and the U.S.,” said Dr. Steve Strubberg. “Our team also recommends the reindeer consume healthy rations of Missouri grass hay. We encourage Missourians to make hay available for Santa’s reindeer, in addition to milk and cookies for Santa.”

Reindeer approved for flight:


Missouri agriculture is a $93.7 billion industry and remains the top economic driver in the Show Me State. To learn more, visit Agriculture.Mo.Gov.