SCOTLAND'S First Minister has condemned the "absolutely appalling and sickening" actions of a West Ham footballer who was filmed abusing his cat.

A video emerged recently of France international defender Kurt Zouma dropping, kicking and slapping his cat.

He is now under investigation by the RSPCA after his two cats were taken into the care of the charity and has been fined “the maximum amount possible” by West Ham.

The RSPCA swiftly rebuked the “very upsetting” video after it surfaced online and will be leading the investigation while co-operating with Essex Police.

Zouma and West Ham are co-operating fully with the RSCPA-led investigation.

During First Minister's Questions, Sturgeon was asked by SNP MSP Christine Grahame for her response to the video and also about whether she considers Scotland's laws on animal welfare are "robust enough" to deal with such events if they were to happen in Scotland.

The First Minister said: "It was absolutely appalling and sickening.

"In Scotland, we have one of the most robust animal welfare frameworks anywhere in the world and we continue to strengthen and develop the measures in place to protect animals and enable effective enforcement actions.

"So the animal health and welfare act 2006 would provide and does provide sufficient power to take enforcement action in a case like this, and indeed to remove animals away from abusive keepers."

West Ham announced on Wednesday afternoon that 27-year-old Zouma, who has apologised, had been fined two weeks’ wages – reported to be in the region of £250,000 – which will be donated to animal welfare charities.

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More than 270,000 people have now signed an online petition on, started by Anti Animal Abuse, calling for Zouma to be prosecuted amid a growing public backlash.

The RSPCA said it had been dealing with the issue before the video went viral and would continue its investigations.

“We’re grateful to everyone who expressed their concern for these cats,” a statement from the animal charity said.

“We were dealing with this issue before the video went viral online and are leading the investigation. We continue to investigate so we cannot comment further at this time.”