NICOLA Sturgeon has condemned an "appalling and sickening" attack by West Ham's Kurt Zouma on one of his pet cats.

The English premier league club condemned Zouma's actions and fined him £250,000, which they stated is the maximum fine they are able to hand out. In a horrific video the defender is seen dropping the animal and kicking it like a football across the kitchen floor.

Animal charity the RSPCA on Wednesday removed Zouma's two pet cats from his home and is liaising with Essex Police about the incident.

The First Minister gave her reaction to the video when pressed for her response by Christine Grahame MSP who asked whether laws on animal welfare in Scotland would be sufficient to prosecute such mistreatment if it took place north of the border.

Ms Grahame asked: "What is the First Minister’s response to the actions of Kurt Zouma, the Premier League footballer for West Ham, who tormented one of his cats for fun and posted a video of his actions on social media for the entertainment of others?

"Does she consider that the laws on animal welfare in Scotland are sufficiently robust to deal with such horrific actions should they occur here?"

Ms Sturgeon told Holyrood: "This incident, certainly what I know about it.. was absolutely appalling and sickening. 

HeraldScotland:

West Ham footballer Kurt Zouma

"But in terms of the question about Scotland, we have one of the most robust animal welfare frameworks anywhere in the world actually and we continue to strengthen and develop the measures in place to protect animals and enable effective enforcement action.

"The Animal Health and Welfare Act 2006 would provide and does provide sufficient powers to take enforcement action in a case like this and indeed to remove animals away from abusive keepers."

Sportswear giant Adidas cut ties with Zouma, 27, on Wednesday after the video emerged.

The France defender's official personal kit supplier said in a statement: "We have concluded our investigation and can confirm Kurt Zouma is no longer an Adidas-contracted athlete."

Also on Wednesday West Ham sponsor Experience Kissimmee said "due to recent events" it would end its deal with the club.

More than 150,000 people have signed an online petition calling for Zouma to be prosecuted, while one of West Ham's sponsors, Vitality, has suspended its deal with the club.