Fri. Jul 1st, 2022

Essex police say: “We are aware of a video circulating on social media relating to an incident involving a cat which members of our communities may find distressing.

“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.”

They are working with the RSPCA, which on Tuesday evening released a statement saying it was investigating the footage, which was shared on social media and showed Zouma drop-kicking, chasing and slapping his pet Bengal.

Zouma has apologised and West Ham “unreservedly condemned” his actions.

In a statement released to Standard Sport, Surrey Police said: “Enquiries are underway after we received an allegation earlier today (February 8), in relation to an animal being abused at an address in north Surrey.

“The allegations were received after a video emerged over the weekend showing a cat being ill-treated.

“We are currently liaising with the RSPCA with a view to carrying out a joint investigation into the matter. Enquiries remain ongoing and we will provide further updates in due course.”

In a statement released shortly after 5.30pm, the RSPCA announced it was investigating.

A spokesperson said: “This is a very upsetting video and we’d like to reassure the public that we are investigating.

“We cannot comment further at this time but we’re grateful to everyone who has brought this to our attention.

“We have received lots of messages on social media and our other channels, so we’re urging people to only contact our national cruelty line (0300 1234 999) if they have new or first-hand information.”

Earlier on Tuesday, the RSPCA confirmed it was looking into the matter.

“It’s never acceptable to kick, hit or slap an animal, for punishment or otherwise.

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“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,” it said.

In a further development on Monday night, Essex police said it was liaising with the RSPCA after being made aware the incident may have actually taken place on their patch.

“We are aware of a video circulating on social media relating to an incident involving a cat, which members of our communities may find distressing,” it said.

“We have recently been made aware that this incident may have taken place in Essex and we are liaising with the RSPCA. Urgent enquiries are ongoing.”

Meanwhile, Zouma’s kit provider adidas have launched their own internal investigation.

In a statement to Standard Sport, the kit manufacturer said: “We are aware of a deeply upsetting video circulating online. No animal should be subject to cruel and unwarranted abuse, and we are investigating the incident internally.”

A West Ham statement released on Monday said: “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.”

Zouma’s brother, Yoan, who filmed the footage and can be heard laughing throughout, has also apologised for his actions via a statement released by his club Dagenham and Redbridge.

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Wizadclick | WAC MAG 2022