Premier League footballer, Kurt Zouma, has been charged with three offences under the Animal Welfare Act after kicking his cat.
This came after footage emerged of the West Ham player kicking his cat which went viral on social media in February. Zouma can be seen laughing, as he volleys the Bengal cat across his kitchen, before throwing a pair of shoes at it and slapping its head. The distressing video was then uploaded onto Snapchat with 'laughing' emojis by his brother and fellow footballer, Yoan.
Zouma, 27, admitted two offences under the Animal Welfare Act at a hearing at Thames Magistrates' Court, while Yoan admitted one offence after an RSPCA investigation.
The court was told about this disturbing footage which was initially reported by a woman who had been messaging Yoan. She was so shocked that she called off their date, telling him: "I don't think hitting a cat like that is OK - don't bother coming today."
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The West Ham footballer had also been fined £250,000 by his club and lost a "substantial" sponsorship deal with sportswear firm adidas. In addition, Zouma had also not been picked for the France national team. The court heard Kurt Zouma has since apologised for his actions, and has agreed for his two Bengal male cats to be rehomed.
"It's never acceptable to treat an animal in this way and we were shocked when the video was first brought to our attention," states RSPCA chief inspectorate officer Dermot Murphy said. "We hope this case will serve as a reminder that all animals deserve to be treated with kindness."
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Cynthia Lawrence is freelance lifestyle journalist. Starting off her career in national magazines, she moved to digital and e-commerce publications. When she's not reviewing exciting products, she is obsessed with home interiors and her neighbour's cat!