AVMA president clears Santa's reindeer for take-off

Published on December 13, 2021
Santa stands with his reindeer

AVMA President Dr. José Arce has given Santa’s reindeer the green light to fly! It’s an annual tradition for AVMA’s president to give Santa’s team the “all-clear” for international travel after a veterinary inspection of the herd. Fortunately, Rudolph and friends received their clean bill of health—and certificate of veterinary inspection—after this year’s examination by Dr. Arce, who recorded this video blog about his trip to the North Pole.


A chance to talk about veterinary roles

Veterinary inspections are needed for animals traveling across state or national borders, to ensure they don’t spread infectious diseases or parasites to other animals or people. For veterinary teams, discussing the inspection of Santa’s reindeer is a great way to promote the important work veterinarians do every day to make the world healthier and safer for all species.

So, shout it from the rooftops (or inside your clinic)—all nine reindeer are up to date on vaccinations, free of disease, and fit for sky travel!

Spread the spirit as part of the E.L.V.E.S. support team

With the AVMA president serving as the official veterinarian of the North Pole, all AVMA members can be part of Santa’s emergency veterinary team—if needed on Christmas Eve. Let your clients know you’re part of Santa's Emergency Landing and Veterinary Expert System (E.L.V.E.S.) support team by downloading a festive digital badge. Here are a few other ways you can participate:

  • Post your badge on your clinic’s website and social media channels.
  • Print the badge to display in your clinic’s waiting room.
  • Share Dr. Arce’s video of his trip to the North Pole.

Joining in the fun with the E.L.V.E.S. team gives you another opportunity to educate clients about how veterinarians keep animals healthy—even reindeer! Find more information to share with clients at avma.org/Santa, including:

  • Details about Dr. Arce’s role as North Pole veterinarian
  • Answers to kids' questions about reindeer
  • A shareable version of the reindeer’s certificate of veterinary inspection
  • Winter and holiday safety tips for pets

Happy holidays!


Thank You!!

I am a kindergarten teacher and my students every year LOVE the videos. Thank you!!

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