Kurt Zouma admitted to abusing a cat in controversial footage that went viral earlier this year
West Ham’s French international defender Kurt Zouma has admitted two breaches of UK animal welfare law after footage leaked online earlier this year showing the 27-year-old hitting and kicking foot to his cat.
Footage of the incident which was filmed by Zouma’s younger brother, Yoan, has gone viral online. Yoan, 24, also admitted an offense relating to the music video after an investigation by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA).
Thames Magistrates’ Court in east London heard the shocking footage was filmed by Yoan Zouma and posted on social media app Snapchat on February 6.
One of Yoan’s followers on the platform observed the footage and notified the authorities.
The disturbing footage showed Kurt Zouma kicking the Bengal cat in his kitchen. Later, he threw a pair of shoes at the helpless animal and kicked it in the head.
Prosecutor Hazel Stevens said during the hearing that Zouma can be heard exclaiming: “I swear I’ll kill him, I swear I’ll kill him.
She added that the clip was filmed after the brothers determined the cat had damaged a chair in the house, telling the court: “Kurt Zouma is determined to chastise or perform some sort of retaliation for the damage done.”
Stevens went on to say that since the clip was filmed, several similar videos have been posted online about animal abuse, apparently inspired by the Zouma brothers.
“Since these images were released into the public domain, there has been a flurry of people hitting cats and posting them on various social media sites.,” she says
“Their behavior is below what is expected of a leading image.”
Zouma later admitted two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal. Two cats belonging to him have since been relocated.
West Ham have fined Zouma following the incident but have been heavily criticized in the media for continuing to select the player for upcoming Premier League matches.
“It is never acceptable to treat an animal in this way and we were shocked when the video first came to our attention.said Dermot Murphy, RSPCA Chief Inspection Officer.
“What makes this case even sadder is how the video was captured and shared, shedding light on such cruelty. We hope this case serves as a reminder that all animals deserve to be treated with kindness. kindness, compassion and respect, and that we will not tolerate cruelty.”
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