Kurt Zouma’s cats taken into care by RSCPA while investigation into West Ham player continues

The RSCPA confirmed the cats are ‘safe and in our care’ while West Ham said the player has been fined the the ‘maximum amount possible’

Jamie Braidwood
Wednesday 09 February 2022 21:56 GMT
Kurt Zouma’s cats have been taken to the RSCPA
Kurt Zouma’s cats have been taken to the RSCPA (Getty Images)

Kurt Zouma’s cats have been taken into care by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSCPA), who have confirmed the West Ham footballer remains under investigation for abusing the animals.

It comes as West Ham confirmed that Zouma has been fined “the maximum amount possible” and the club said it was supporting the RSCPA’s investigation.

The defender has apologised after a disturbing video emerged of the 27-year-old dropping, kicking and slapping one of his two cats but the RSCPA have confirmed the pets are “safe and in our care”.

In a statement, West Ham said: “Kurt and the club are co-operating fully with the investigation and the player has willingly complied with the steps taken in the initial stage of the process, including delivering his family’s two cats to the RSPCA for assessment.”

The RSPCA confirmed: “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.”

The RSCPA said in an earlier statement on Tuesday that the video, which was filmed by Zouma’s brother and in the presence of a child, was “very upsetting”.

West Ham condemned Zouma’s behaviour but he was then selected in manager David Moyes’ starting team for the Premier League fixture against Watford on Tuesday night, which sparked further outrage.

Vitality, the insurance and investment company, have said they are suspending their sponsorship of West Ham over the club’s response to the incident.

“We are hugely disappointed by the judgement subsequently shown by the club in response to this incident and as such, we are suspending our sponsorship of West Ham with immediate effect,” Vitality said.

West Ham have faced calls to sack Zouma amid growing backlash against the France international. An online petition to prosecute the player has reached 150,000 signatures and Zouma was booed as he appeared at the London Stadium in the match against Watford.

Moyes was also criticised for selecting Zouma for the match, which took place just hours after the video emerged. The manager defended his decision to select Zouma by stating it was his job to pick the “best team” available to him.

Essex Police have also said they will co-operate with the RSPCA investigation.

The statement from West Ham continued: “Kurt is extremely remorseful and, like everyone at the club, fully understands the depth of feeling surrounding the incident and the need for action to be taken.

“Separate to the RSPCA’s investigation and pending further sanction once the outcome of that process is determined, West Ham can confirm that Kurt Zouma has been fined the maximum amount possible following his actions in the video that circulated. The player has immediately accepted the fine, which will be donated to animal welfare charities.

“West Ham 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.

“However, we believe it is now important to allow the RSPCA to conduct their investigation in a fair and thorough manner, and will be making no further comment at this stage.”

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