Kurt Zouma filmed kicking and punching cat in shocking video, believed to have been filmed by his brother; Defender apologises for "isolated incident"; West Ham and RSPCA condemn Zouma's actions; Metropolitan Police decline to investigate incident
Wednesday 9 February 2022 07:25, UK
The Met Police have decided not to investigate a video which showed West Ham defender Kurt Zouma kicking his cat across his kitchen floor.
Despite the 27-year-old issuing an apology for the disturbing video obtained by The Sun newspaper, in which he is also seen slapping his pet in the face, Zouma will face no formal charge from the force over the incident.
The RSPCA, however, has condemned the "very upsetting" video and said "we will always look into and, if necessary, investigate any complaints made to us about animal welfare."
One of West Ham's sponsors - Experience Kissimmee - has said it is evaluating its relationship with West Ham on the back of the incident.
The Frenchman's brother, Yoan, is believed to have filmed the incident inside the defender's home before posting it to Snapchat on Sunday afternoon, just a day after West Ham's FA Cup fourth-round win at Kidderminster.
Zouma can be seen in his kitchen picking up the cat before dropping it and booting it into the air across the kitchen.
He is also seen chasing the Bengal cat around his dining room in front of a child while the cameraman is heard laughing.
The £30m former Chelsea centre-back is then filmed throwing a pair of shoes at the animal as it tries to escape. A final clip shows him slapping the cat in the face and out of the child's arms.
Zouma has since issued an apology for the attack and insisted it was an isolated incident.
"I also want to say how deeply sorry I am to anyone who was upset by the video," he said. "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."
A West Ham statement said: "West Ham United unreservedly condemns the actions of our player, Kurt Zouma, in the video that has circulated.
"We have spoken to Kurt and will be dealing with the matter internally, but we would like to make it clear that we in no way condone cruelty towards animals."
Animal welfare charity the RSPCA condemned Zouma's actions and reiterated the importance of reporting suspected animal suffering.
"This is a very upsetting video. It's never acceptable to kick, hit or slap an animal, for punishment or otherwise," an RSPCA spokesperson 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."
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