A viral petition calling for Kurt Zouma to be ‘prosecuted for animal cruelty’ has attracted over 70,000 signatures after vile footage of the West Ham defender hitting his pet cat.
West Ham manager David Moyes, 58, made the controversial decision to start Zouma for the Hammers’ 1-0 win over Watford at the London Stadium on Tuesday.
Zouma, who has apologised for his deplorable behaviour, was booed repeatedly by both sets of fans every time he touched the ball.
The sickening footage showed the 27-year-old centre-back booting his cat across the kitchen floor and slapping the poor animal in the face at his home.
Zouma’s vile actions were captured by a cameraman — believed to be his brother Yoan — who can be heard laughing as the West Ham star tormented the cat.
Matthew Dixon took to Change.org to launch the petition for the Metropolitan Police to take action against the former Chelsea defender.
“Professional football player Kurt Zouma was filmed horrendously abusing a defenceless animal, a crime in the UK,” reads the petition’s description.
“He should be prosecuted by the Met Police for his actions.”
The petition, which was launched on Tuesday, has already amassed 73,437 signatures at the time of writing.
Change.org revealed that crossing the 75,000-signature mark would make it one of the most-signed petitions on the platform.
Metropolitan Police revealed that it won’t investigate Zouma over his actions, but Essex Police are liaising with the RSPCA and “urgent enquiries are ongoing.”
Moyes defended his decision to select the France international for the Watford clash, despite the impact that Zouma’s actions had “through the team and the club.”
“I have spoken to [Zouma] and we will move on as much as we can,” he said after the match.
“We have all felt it through the team and the club. We are all of the same feeling that it is something we didn’t expect of Kurt. We didn’t see that in his character or from him in anything we’ve come across with him.
“We wanted to get this game out of the way and we understand nobody will be pleased about it. It is a poor situation.
“I am someone who cares a lot about my dogs and horses and all the people I am connected with.
“I think the club would rather deal with it all in time and they will let you know what the action is.”
West Ham said in a statement that they “unreservedly” condemned the actions of Zouma and the club in “no way condone cruelty towards animals.”