12/30/02 ER Doc Goran Visnjic Prescribes a Fur-Free Eastern Europe

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U.S.-Based PETA Launches Its First Animal Rights Campaign in Eastern Europe, with Animal Friends and "Dr. Kovac"

Zagreb, Croatia - Croatia's most famous export, actor Goran Visnjic, costar of the international smash TV series ER, and Animal Friends have joined with international pressure group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in launching its first anti-fur campaign in Eastern Europe. Visnjic, along with his dog Bugsy, will appear on billboards in Zagreb and Split-as well as on leaflets that will be handed out by members of Animal Friends to fur-wearers walking their dogs in parks throughout Croatia-that read, "If you wouldn't wear your dog, please don't wear any fur."

Says Visnjic, a native of Sibenik, Croatia, "Somebody once asked me, when war was happening in my country, 'Why don't you do more for humans, against wars?' It's our own stupidity that people are so violent to each other. What people do to animals is a one-sided war, and animals are innocent and cannot protect themselves. We should not wear any animal's fur."

Visnjic wants consumers to know that for each fur coat, collar, or cuff, animals are trapped, drowned, or beaten to death in the wild or gassed, strangled, or electrocuted on fur farms. He was inspired to speak out after seeing a magazine article featuring fur. "[My wife and I] were disgusted," he said. "What's going on? Civilization is advancing, but some people are going backwards. Today we can use many different materials to warm ourselves without killing other beings."

Visnjic is the latest celebrity to join fashion designer Stella McCartney, rock and dance stars P!nk and Sophie E. Bextor, and Baywatch beauty Pamela Anderson in PETA's Anti-Fur Campaign. He joined the cast of ER in 1999, playing the role of Dr. Luka Kovac, a Croatian doctor who immigrated to the United States after the violent deaths of his wife and children.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is the world's largest animal rights organization, with offices in Germany, India, the U.K., and New York City and more than 750,000 members and supporters.

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