Kurt Zouma charged with animal welfare offences after cat kicking video outcry

West Ham defender Kurt Zouma, 27, and his brother Yoan will now appear in Thames Magistrates Court on Tuesday having been charged under the Animal Welfare Act

West Ham United defender Kurt Zouma

West Ham United defender Kurt Zouma has been charged with three offences under the Animal Welfare Act after allegedly harming his pet cat.

The charges relate to a video which surfaced back in February, appearing to show the 27-year-old kicking and slapping one of his pets. Kurt’s brother Yoan has also been charged with the two now set to appear at Thames Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday for a first hearing.

Kurt, who West Ham signed from Chelsea in a deal worth £29.8million last summer, was fined a reported £250,000 by the Hammers, but remained in the first team following the incident.

He is accused of causing “unnecessary suffering to a protected animal, by kicking and slapping a cat”, in contravention of section 4 subsection 1 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Kurt is also charged with failing to “protect the animal from pain suffering injury or disease”.

Yoan Zouma has also been charged and will appear in court


Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo/REX/Shutterstock)

Yoan, 23, who was initially suspended by Dagenham & Redbridge and hasn’t played since the end of January, is accused of two counts of “aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring” his brother to commit the offence of causing unnecessary suffering to the cat.

The RSPCA have since removed the two cats from Kurt’s home and continue to care for them. The French international was dropped by a number of his sponsors including Sportswear giants Adidas. The West Ham defender has been regularly mocked by opposition supporters since the video was uploaded, with some fans bringing inflatable cat toys to mock the former Chelsea star.

West Ham released a statement following the news that the RSPCA would be bringing a prosecution against their player which read: “‘We are aware of the RSPCA statement in relation to its investigation involving Kurt Zouma.

“Kurt continues to cooperate fully, supported by the Club. It is our understanding that Kurt’s cats have been checked by a vet, are in good health and have suffered no physical injuries. For legal reasons, neither Kurt or the Club will be making any further comment at this time.”

Hammers boss David Moyes has publicly stood by Kurt and asked for forgiveness, saying: “A mistake has been made and there are managers with players who have made mistakes. You want to feel there is forgiveness and an apology has been made.”

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