West Ham are under pressure following their decision to start David Moyes at their games last night against Watford.
The Club has “unreservedly condemned” the defender after videos emerged on social media of him kicking and slapping his pet cat.
The France international is seen striking his poor Bengal cat across his kitchen floor before chasing it with a pair of designer shoes across his dining room.
He then slaps the defenceless cat across the face – and out of child’s arms – before it scurries off in terror.
Defending the decision, West Ham Manager, David Moyes said he is a “human being and an animal lover” but “responsible for getting results.”
A petition condemning the actions of the French defender reached 80,000 signatures this morning and has been widely shared on social media.
An Essex Police spokesperson said: “We have recently been made aware that this incident may have taken place in Essex and we are liaising with the RSPCA and urgent enquiries are ongoing.”
Former England midfielder and pundit, Owen Hargreaves added: “I’m really surprised. He’s their best centre-back but I thought he’d be out for at least a couple of games.
“This won’t be the end of this. It puts a lot of pressure on him and the football club.”
Following the introduction of a new law last year, the maximum prison sentence for animal cruelty in the UK is five years.
Before then, the maximum jail time for animal cruelty was just six months. However, prison sentences are for the most serious animal cruelty crimes – including “dog fighting, abuse of puppies and kittens, illegally cropping a dog’s ears and gross neglect of farm animals.”
People found guilty can also face an unlimited fine.
Zouma has apologised and says both his cats are “perfectly fine and healthy.”
Zouma’s cats have since been taken into care by the RSPCA.
Picture Credit: Wesam Saka