The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) has reportedly taken custody of the pet cats of West Ham defender, Kurt Zouma.
The action by the RSPCA comes less than 24 hours after a video of Zouma kicking and hitting his cat was published on the internet.
The RSPCA said the cats “are safe and in our care” in a statement released on Wednesday.
“Our priority is and has always been the wellbeing of these cats. They’ve been taken for a check-up at a vet and then will remain in our care while the investigation continues.”
The French defender can be seen in the video, originally published by The Sun, kicking the cat across the floor and also hitting it in the face.
Zouma has been heavily criticised on social media with many people demanding his prosecution for animal cruelty.
The defender has since apologised for his behaviour in a statement.
“I want to apologise for my actions. There are no excuses for my behaviour, which I sincerely regret,” he 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.”
His club, West Ham condemned Zouma’s actions and have fined him two weeks’ wages which will be donated to animal welfare charities.
A video obtained by The Sun allegedly shows footballer Kurt Zouma kicking and hitting his cat.
It’s absolutely disgusting and disturbing footage. I hope he is prosecuted for animal cruelty. pic.twitter.com/3K7xMeHh5j
— Emily Hewertson 🇬🇧 (@emilyhewertson) February 7, 2022
“West Ham United unreservedly condemns the actions of 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,” the East London club said in an earlier statement.
The club however added that they support the “footballing decisions” of manager David Moyes, who opted to start the Frenchman in last night’s win over Watford despite opposition from fans.