More Than 100,000 Sign Petition To Take Kurt Zouma's Animals Away And Prosecute Him
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More than 100,000 people have signed a petition to have West Ham footballer Kurt Zouma prosecuted and his animals rehomed after video footage emerged of the defender drop-kicking and slapping his cat.
Zouma was heavily criticised after the footage emerged, as well as being booed as he featured last night for his club against Watford.
West Ham and the RSPCA have also roundly condemned his actions, which were shared online by a friend.
The Change.org petition, which seems set to pick up the 150,000 signatures that would make it one of the website’s top signed, reads: “Shocking video footage shared on social media shows French international and West Ham footballer Kurt Zouma drop kicking and slapping his pet Bengal cat in the presence of both his brother and a young child (the example set?)
“Both Zouma and his brother can be heard laughing throughout the footage.
“The mere fact that Zouma considers this funny and worthy of sharing on the Snapchat platform shows his disdain for animals and leads us to wonder what happens to animals in Zouma’s ‘care’ privately?
“In the UK we have laws against the abuse of animals, laws which should be applicable to everyone rich or poor, famous or not!
“We ask that the Metropolitan Police and RSPCA carry out an urgent investigation and prosecute the perpetrators of this heinous act.
“Further we ask that the RSPCA remove all animals from Zouma’s ‘care’ immediately!”
The petition continues: “Failure to take action in this case will send the message that animal abuse for entertainment is justified, that for the rich and famous breaking the law is no problem! Neither are acceptable!”
After the video was shared by The Sun on 7 February, Zouma apologised for his actions in a statement that read: "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."
Explaining his decision to start Zouma in the Hammers’ victory over Watford last night, manager David Moyes said: "He is one of our better players. But it is ongoing and the club are dealing with it, so that is a separate matter."
Still, the club have condemned the video, writing: "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."
An RSPCA statement read: "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."