Kurt Zouma cat video: West Ham defender condemned by animal charities
- Credit: PA
West Ham defender Kurt Zouma has been condemned by his club and the RSPCA after a video appears to show him kicking and slapping a cat.
The 27-year-old France international – who apologised after the emergence of the video online – is reportedly seen kicking and slapping the animal before chasing it, throwing a pair of shoes at it and slapping its head.
“This is a very upsetting video. It’s never acceptable to kick, hit or slap an animal, for punishment or otherwise,” a spokesperson for animal welfare charity the RSPCA said.
“We are so grateful to people who report suspected animal suffering to us and we would like to reassure people we will always look into and, if necessary, investigate any complaints made to us about animal welfare.”
West Ham United said in a statement that it “unreservedly condemns” Zouma’s actions and said the matter would be dealt with internally.
“We would like to make it clear that we in no way condone cruelty towards animals,” the club added.
Zouma, who joined the Hammers from Chelsea in August 2021, has also released a statement, apologising for his actions and expressing his regret.
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“I want to apologise for my actions. There are no excuses for my behaviour, which I sincerely regret,” Zouma said.
“I also want to say how deeply sorry I am to anyone who was upset by the video. I would like to assure everyone that our two cats are perfectly fine and healthy.
“They are loved and cherished by our entire family, and this behaviour was an isolated incident that will not happen again.”
Zouma’s representatives have been contacted for further comment by the PA news agency.
Dr Maggie Roberts, director of veterinary services at Cats Protection, issued a statement which read: “Causing any animal unnecessary suffering is a criminal offence under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
“Any person seen or suspected of treating an animal badly, whether this is physical violence, neglect or any other form of cruelty should be reported to the RSPCA.
“The police work closely with the RSPCA to investigate cases of animal cruelty.
“Kicking, hitting and slapping cats or any other animal is not only illegal but will cause serious bodily harm.
“This cat may have been subjected to broken bones or other injuries through being mistreated in this way.”
Reporting by Press Association.