USDA issues permit allowing global gift-giving tycoon to bring reindeer into the U.S.

USDA issues permit allowing global gift-giving tycoon to bring reindeer into the U.S.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WMBF) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a permit Friday to the owner of a worldwide gift-giving conglomerate that allows for reindeer to enter and exit any U.S. port for a 12-hour period starting the evening of Dec. 24 and ending in the early-morning hours of Dec. 25.

According to a USDA press release, the movement permit was issued to Mr. S. Claus, of the North Pole, who oversees Worldwide Gifts, Unlimited.

The conditions of the permit state that Claus and his reindeer will be allowed entry to the U.S. starting at 7 p.m. on Dec. 24 and ending at 7 a.m. on Dec. 25.

According to the release, the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service oversaw the issuing of the permit.

Information on the USDA's website states the APHIS issues permits for the import, transit and release of regulated animals, animal products, veterinary biologics, plants, plant products, pests, organisms, soil, and genetically engineered organisms.

In addition to the normal disease-testing requirements, the reindeer will have to undergo additional tests to ensure they will be able "to safely handle significant changes in altitude and temperature throughout their journey, and are fit for landing on rooftops," the release stated.

"We know that children all over the country – including my own 14 grandchildren – are eagerly awaiting a visit from Mr. Claus and his team before they wake on Christmas morning," Sec. of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said in a statement. "USDA issued this permit in advance and waived all applicable fees to help ensure a smooth trip on Christmas Eve night."

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will monitor Claus's progress starting Sunday evening. Click here to track his movements.

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