The RSPCA has condemned a “very upsetting” video of West Ham’s Kurt Zouma kicking and slapping a cat, and has reaffirmed a commitment to investigate any complaints of animal cruelty.
Zouma has apologised after the disturbing video surfaced online, with West Ham also condemning the footage and vowing to deal with the matter internally.
In the video, Zouma is seen dropping, kicking and slapping the cat, while laughter can be heard in the background. The 27-year-old then chases the animal before throwing a pair of shoes at it and slapping its head.
“This is a very upsetting video,” a RSPCA spokesperson said. “It’s never acceptable to kick, hit or slap an animal, for punishment or otherwise. 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 have condemned Zouma’s actions to the Sun in a strongly worded statement after it published the clip.
“West Ham United unreservedly condemns the actions of our player, Kurt Zouma, in the video that has circulated,” West Ham said. “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.”
Zouma told The Sun: “I want to apologise for my actions. There are no excuses for my behaviour, which I sincerely regret. 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.”