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Kurt Zouma discovers his punishment after RSPCA removes player’s two pet cats

Kurt Zouma discovers his punishment after the RSPCA removes the player’s two pet cats due to the abuse he showed towards one in a video.

It showed the 27-year-old Frenchman dropping, kicking and slapping his pet, prompting “urgent enquiries” by Essex Police and the RSPCA.

He, as of today, been axed from the West Ham squad and fined £250,000 – two weeks’ pay.

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In a statement, the animal charity said: “The two cats are now in RSPCA care. Our priority is and has always been the wellbeing of these cats.

“They’ve been taken for a check-up at a vets and then will remain in our care while the investigation continues.

“We’re grateful to everyone who expressed their concern for these cats. We were dealing with this issue before the video went viral online and are leading the investigation.

“We continue to investigate so we cannot comment further at this time.”

A petition on Change, started by Anti Animal Abuse, demanding the prosecution of “the perpetrators of this heinous act” and urging the RSPCA to “remove all animals from Zouma’s ‘care’ immediately”, got more than 150,000 signatures.

Despite the fierce criticism of Zouma’s actions, Hammers manager David Moyes still named the defender in the club’s starting 11 for Tuesday’s 1-0 Premier League win at Watford.

West Ham United Supporters’ Trust say they was not “impressed” by Zouma’s selection against Watford – and suggested the player should be made to “see the consequences of his own actions”.

Experience Kissimmee, one of West Ham’s official sponsors, said it will be “evaluating our relationship and sponsorship with the club” after Zouma was selected – a decision it also called “disheartening”.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan told Sky News he was “disappointed” in Moyes – while a leading pet charity said the decision to play Zouma “normalises his abhorrent behaviour”.

Speaking to Kay Burley, Mr Khan said: “It’s despicable. I think a number of things need to happen urgently. I think the RSPCA and the police need to work together to prosecute this player.

“I’m disappointed in David Moyes and West Ham. I know how important three points are, but I think they should have shown leadership and dropped him last night.”

Becky Thwaites, head of public affairs at national pet charity Blue Cross, said: “We were very disappointed to see West Ham make the decision to play Kurt Zouma last night.

“In our view it normalises his abhorrent behaviour and delivers the message it’s acceptable to treat a family pet that way.

“It gives the impression to young football fans watching last night that it doesn’t matter what he did to his cat, all that is important is football.

“We work with children all over the country to help them be safe around pets and learn to show them love and respect. Anyone in a position of influence, like Zouma, should be doing the same.

“We reiterate our full support for prosecution for cases like this, and for all animal cruelty.”

Conservationist Chris Packham has also condemned Moyes’ decision to select Zouma.

Packham told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think it was a disgraceful decision. I think if the footballer had released on social media a film of him taking drugs or beating his wife or his girlfriend or his children, there was no way he would have been on the pitch.

“And this is not just about football. These footballers now are role models to millions of people, so in a way they set public standards, and what David Moyes showed last night is that he had no regard for people’s opinion of public standards when it came to animal welfare.”

West Ham United Supporters’ Trust treasurer, Kevin Hind, said: “The video which we saw was absolutely horrific. Cruelty to animals is completely unacceptable.

“These footballers, including Zouma, are role models to people, particularly young people.

“I don’t think any of us were impressed with Zouma having been played last night.

“Professional footballers should not be treated like God – if footballers break the law, they should be punished.

“In terms of animal cruelty, if this had occurred in any other field of work, the employee concerned would have been suspended if not summarily dismissed.

“If he is actually prosecuted and it is a fine, I would guess it would not really hit him hard in the pocket.

“We have suggested he should be required to donate at least a week’s salary to the RSPCA or Cats Protection and do community service with them so he can see the consequences of his own actions.”

The Snapchat video, captioned with 'Sa commence' showed Zouma kicking the cat across his kitchen floor

A West Ham statement said: “The player has immediately accepted the fine, which will be donated to animal welfare charities.

“West Ham United would like to reiterate our condemnation of Kurt’s actions and make it clear that the matter continues to be handled with the utmost seriousness.”

Vitality have suspended their sponsorship of West Ham over the scandal involving Kurt Zouma.

Twitter users reacted while Kurt Zouma discovers his punishment after the RSPCA removes the player’s two pet cats…

@Matthew82069336: The RSPCA have rightfully confiscated Kurt Zouma’s cats. The £250,000 fine imposed by West Ham,though a fortune to many of us, is drop in the ocean to him. You’ve effectively condoned animal abuse West Ham,by not showing this sick individual the door. He kicked cat like a football

@drake_mikey: I wonder if Kurt Zouma and his brother are laughing now? His pets have now been taken away by the RSPCA and the French are seeking a custodial sentence in their own country as well as banning him indefinitely from the National team ! Big difference of attitudes compared to Moyes

@shadowjazzy1: The RSPCA should now prosecute Zouma and part of his rehabilitation should be to clean out the RSPCA cattery every Saturday at 3pm for the rest of the season. .

@Angelacoulter20: I am so happy to learn this has been done. I adore animals and I signed the petition. I am at peace knowing the cats in question have been removed from him. The people laughing in the video will be laughing no more. Children can see this was wrong.

@EvaLynnSP1: He got a fine from @WestHam. A FINE?!? As if that is enough? Why does someone get away with ABUSING ANIMALS? Hope all sponsors stop their sponsorships. Hope Kurt Zouma has to leave.

@jackiebenj: Thank goodness!!! Bloke should be sacked or at least disciplined by @WestHam shame on you @KurtZouma

@Leftyladswife65: This would seem to indicate that somebody reported their concerns about the cats before the video was shared…. Glad these cats are now safe from harm, I hope there’s no lasting injuries to the one that was abused.

@domdyer70: This overpaid & pampered cat abuser should not be on the pitch tonight or anytime soon. No excuse for animal abuse @WestHam @KurtZouma @RSPCA_official #KurtZouma

@LornaGr31237685: Please give him a ban of any future pets, he should never be allowed to live with any animal if he’s done this. I’ve had cats for 30 years and I’ve never felt the need to kick my cats ever

@John04407982: Correct decision, at least someone’s doing the right thing unlike West Ham and Moyes

@wallywooly: Absolutely shocking that a women hits a horse and gets fired yet a very rich footballer can kick a cat across a room and he gets to keep his job, what a shocking example this is showing the young football supports!!!

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