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Vet gives reindeer clean bill of health for Christmas Eve haul

Wild reindeer forage for food on the island of Spitsbergen, which is part of the Svalbard archipelago in Norway.
Wild reindeer forage for food on the island of Spitsbergen, which is part of the Svalbard archipelago in Norway. AP File

Santa Claus is one step closer to making his annual trip around the globe.

On Tuesday, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) gave Santa’s nine reindeer a clean bill of health after an annual inspection.

AVMA president Dr. Tom Meyer examined the reindeer earlier this month to ensure that Santa’s team of nine were up-to-date on their vaccinations, free of disease and healthy.

“After thorough examination, I can tell you that Santa’s reindeer are perfectly healthy, in great shape and ready for their upcoming flight,” Meyer said in a press release.

The reindeer’s annual exam includes a health check about a month before their Christmas Eve flight to make sure they’re healthy and not showing any signs of disease — such as brucellosis, tuberculosis or chronic wasting disease — that can be transmitted to other animals around the world.

Meyer said he will make a follow-up trip to the North Pole on Christmas Eve to provide a pre-flight checkup and to inspect the reindeer upon their return on Christmas morning.

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