Animal charity slams group dressed as West Ham footballer Kurt Zouma kicking 'cat' in Leeds

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Kurt Zouma was mocked by a group taking part in the Otley Run in Leeds

An animal welfare charity has expressed deep concern over a viral videos depicting a group of men dressed as West Ham footballer Kurt Zouma seemingly chasing and kicking a man in a cat costume. Zouma had previously received community service in 2022 for admitting to kicking and slapping his own cat.

In a video published recently, the men can be seen gathering outside a Cats Protection shop in Headingly Leeds, reported the BBC. The charity said that it is “extremely sad” and “unfortunate to see people mocking animal abuse".

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One video captures the group on the Otley Run pub crawl route in the city's student district. In the footage, a man dressed as a cat is seen running from the group, all clad in West Ham jerseys featuring Zouma's name and number.

Kurt Zouma was mocked by a group taking part in the Otley Run in LeedsKurt Zouma was mocked by a group taking part in the Otley Run in Leeds
Kurt Zouma was mocked by a group taking part in the Otley Run in Leeds | National World

This pub crawl, spanning approximately 15 venues, has drawn concern from local authorities, with one council member comparing the area to the rowdy Magaluf resort in Majorca during weekends. Another video depicts the group outside the charity shop, where they pretend to assault the person in the cat costume, while others around them dance, chant, and gesture towards the store.

A spokesperson for Cats Protection, the UK's leading cat welfare charity, told the BBC: "It's unfortunate to see people mocking animal abuse, and the awful incident which led to a criminal conviction for Kurt Zouma. When the video surfaced, Zouma's actions were rightly condemned, and to see people making a joke of it in a busy high street is extremely sad."

The spokesperson said staff and volunteers at the shop had been unaware of the incident. At the time of Zouma's conviction under the Animal Welfare Act, Cats Protection said they were "outraged by this act of cruelty" and criticised the punishment handed to him.

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