Footballer banned from keeping cats over cruelty

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Footballer banned from keeping cats over cruelty

West Ham United footballer Kurt Zouma was banned from keeping cats for five years and ordered to perform 180 hours of community service after pleading guilty to animal cruelty, reported DW, quoting news agencies AP, AFP and Reuters.

Kurt Zouma has been given a community service order after kicking and slapping his cat in February.

The French defender's cats were taken into care by British animal rights charity the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) when the case emerged in February.

What did Kurt Zouma do to his cat?

Zouma was filmed volleying his cat across the kitchen and slapping its head.

The video was then posted on social media, prompting an international backlash. Kurt Zouma was fined by his club, lost a sponsorship deal with Adidas, and was dropped by the French national team.

He continued to play for West Ham throughout the controversy, helping them to a seventh-place finish in the Premier League and a Europa League semi-final spot.

His brother — who is also a footballer — filmed the video and posted it on Snapchat, and was suspended by his fifth-tier team, Dagenham.

He had sent the video to a woman he was due to meet for a date, prompting her to cancel the meeting.

"I don't think hitting a cat like that is OK — don't bother coming today," she told him.

District judge Susan Holdham agreed, calling the pair's actions a "disgraceful and reprehensible act."

"The cat looked up to you to care for its needs. On that date in February you did not provide for its needs."

West Ham United football club declared in a statement that abuse of animals is "not in line with the values of the football club."

"Within 48 hours of the footage emerging, we fined Kurt the maximum available to the club," read the statement. "Every single penny of this money is now with a number of deserving charities, all dedicated to animal welfare."

Why was he prosecuted by a charity?

The RSPCA does not have jurisdiction to prosecute cruelty cases, but British law allows individuals and organizations to bring a private prosecution if they hire specialist lawyers to sue the case.

Kurt Zouma was banned from keeping cats for five years and ordered to perform 180 hours of community service, and his brother was sentenced to 140 hours of community service.

"We are pleased there has been swift justice in this awful case and our focus now is matching these beautiful cats to the loving homes they deserve," said RSPCA chief inspectorate officer Dermot Murphy.

"This case sends a really clear message that animals should never be treated like this, and posting videos of animals being harmed on social media for likes is abhorrent."

Footballer banned from keeping cats over cruelty

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