RICHMOND, Va. (WFXR) — Santa Claus has been given permission to bring his reindeer to Virginia. The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced today that a permit has been granted to allow Santa to bring his reindeer to the commonwealth on Christmas Eve.

The announcement was made in the following release:


VIRGINIA STATE VETERINARIAN APPROVES ENTRY OF SANTA’S REINDEER INTO VIRGINIA ON DECEMBER 24 

RICHMOND, VA- Dr. Charlie Broaddus, State Veterinarian with the Virginia Department of 

Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), in collaboration with the Virginia Department of 

Wildlife Resources (DWR), has issued a permit to Nicolas “Santa” Claus, of the North Pole, to 

bring his herd of “eight tiny reindeer” and one additional rare, red-nosed reindeer into Virginia 

on the evening of Dec. 24. While the USDA regulates the international movement of animals, the 

VDACS Office of Veterinary Services regulates the movement of animals into the 

Commonwealth of Virginia. DWR is charged with the management of the state’s wildlife 

resources. 

All ruminants entering Virginia must bear identification, and the identification number 

must be noted on the Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI). Identification can be an ear tag 

issued by a state or federal entity, or other forms of identification approved by the State 

Veterinarian, and is critically important in tracing animals in the event of a significant disease 

outbreak. As the importation of deer into Virginia is generally prohibited, the State Veterinarian 

collaborated with DWR to issue the permit. A DWR permit is required to possess any member of 

the deer family in Virginia. 

“Santa travels to Virginia each year with his herd of reindeer, and while his visit is brief, 

it is still vitally important to Virginia’s agricultural industry that the reindeer are safe and 

healthy. Santa takes great care of his herd, and I am happy to issue an approved permit,” said Dr. 

Broaddus. 

In discussing this approval, Santa said, “I love delivering Christmas presents to the 

Commonwealth. Virginia farmers produce some of the best products in the world. I especially 

enjoy the milk and eggnog and my reindeer really love Virginia Grown carrots and apples.”