‘Ready to fly’: Santa’s personal veterinarian clears reindeer for international travel on Christmas Eve

Everyone can now rest easy knowing their Christmas presents will arrive on schedule after Santa’s personal vet approved his team of trusty reindeer for travel this holiday season.

According to a veterinarian publication, Dr. John Howe, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), took a visit to the North Pole earlier in December where he gave up-to-date vaccinations and wrote certifications of approval for Rudolph, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer and the rest of the gang to travel across state and national borders.

“After a full examination and review of their medical records, I’m pleased to say Santa’s reindeer are healthy, in great shape, and ready to fly on Christmas Eve,” said Howe.

The medical exam consists of a general health checkup at least a month ahead of the Christmas Eve flight, according to a press release by the AVMA.

The annual checkup is mandatory in making sure the reindeer “aren’t harboring any diseases they could then potentially spread to animals in other parts of the world,” said Howe. “At the same time, making sure they’re healthy also means they’re less likely to catch any diseases themselves on that long global flight.”

Santa is also required to bring an official "North Pole Certificate of Animal Export," which the AVMA says allows him to ensure health officials around the world that his reindeer pose no threat to public health.

FILE - Photograph of a group of reindeer.

While there can be only one veterinarian assigned to the North Pole at at time, the AVMA urges anyone interested in volunteering to be a member of Santa’s emergency veterinary staff on Christmas Eve to go to their website to print out an official Veterinary Expert System (E.L.V.E.S.) support team badge.