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A footballer has apologised after a video emerged of him kicking and slapping his pet cat.
Kurt Zouma, who plays for West Ham United, admitted that it was an "isolated incident" and that he would never hurt the animal again.
In the upsetting footage, which was shared by The Sun last night (7 February), the French footballer can be seen volleying his cat across the kitchen before slapping it.
In a statement to Sky News, the 27-year-old, who is an ambassador for a French animal charity, said: "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."
Zouma's club has also released a statement, in which it says the matter was being 'dealt with internally'.
A spokesperson for the club 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."
And the RSPCA also told the outlet: "This is a very upsetting video. 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."
The footage of the player injuring the cat started circulating on Twitter late yesterday evening (7 February) and since the clip emerged, people have called for action to be taken.
"Kurt Zouma must be prosecuted. No one should be allowed to get away with such vile behaviour! An apology isn’t enough," said one.
However, according to reports, the Metropolitan Police has confirmed that it will not be investigating the video.
According to the Animal Welfare Act 2006, owners have a responsibility to make sure their pet is 'protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease'.
Those who fail to do so could be prosecuted.
According to DAS Law, the most serious of offences could see a person handed a £20,000 fine and sentenced to 51 weeks in prison.
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