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The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service announced that representatives from the North Pole were among the visitors checking out the Agency’s new traveler information web page.

The site, launched in September 2018, provides everyone with important information about which agricultural items are safe to enter the United States — and which ones are best left behind. This helps protect the health of our country’s plants, animals and natural resources, ensuring many happy holidays to come.

“As we are in the overall season of family, feasting and gift-giving, we are thrilled to hear directly from Santa’s elves that the big man himself was comparing his gift list to our requirements,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “We thank Santa for setting a great example of thoughtful and responsible gift giving. We know he always does his part by getting a movement permit for his reindeer to enter the U.S., but this year he’s going above and beyond to help protect our farmers, ranchers and citizens.”

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Both food items and other agricultural-based items (things like plants, seeds, and gifts made from wood or plants) from other countries can carry pests and diseases not found here in the United States. For these reasons, certain items are not allowed to be carried in by travelers.

Other items may be allowed with specific documentation. USDA’s new site helps everyone looking to bring an agricultural gift from overseas know what is okay to bring back. After all, no one wants to spend time or effort picking the perfect gift if you can’t bring it to the person you are buying it for.

So whether you are selecting a holiday gift for this season — or just planning ahead for next summer’s vacation souvenirs — be sure to be like Santa and check out the site before purchasing gifts.

Visit the site here: www.aphis.usda.gov/travel.

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