Paris - A 24-year-old man accused of injuring a kitten by throwing it against an apartment building, then uploading a video clip of the act on his Facebook profile is being prosecuted for animal cruelty, officials said.
If convicted during Monday's trial in Marseille, the Frenchman could face up to two years in prison and a 30 000-euro ($40 500) fine.
France's national animal welfare association SPA was organising a demonstration outside the courthouse.
The video first shows the man throwing the 4-month-old kitten named Oscar high into the air toward a large bush. A second clip shows him throwing the cat at an apartment building wall, and the cat plunging hard onto a concrete sidewalk. Prosecutors declined to give The Associated Press the suspect's name.
The Marseille SPA office says it is treating Oscar for a broken foot and a stomach injury suffered in the attacks, which occurred after the accused found the kitten on a street. The owner later recovered his pet and brought it to the SPA for treatment.
The Brigitte Bardot Foundation, another animal welfare group, also has filed a complaint against the man in the video and police are trying to identify the person who filmed the scene.
Christophe Marie, the foundation's spokesman, said the video was made on Jan. 21, the Facebook site was later taken down, and the suspect was arrested on Friday.
Marie said the foundation handles around 300 animal cruelty cases every year.
“More and more people are filming themselves doing this and putting it online. In this case, the fact he put it on his Facebook profile with his personal details made it very easy for the police to find him,” Marie said.