Kurt Zouma to be charged under Animal Welfare Act in England

Soccer player Kurt Zouma to appear in court over shocking cat video
West Ham United's Kurt Zouma before the Premier League match of February 8, 2022, photo: Reuters/Tony Obrien

English football club West Ham United defender Kurt Zouma and his brother Yoan will be charged under the Animal Welfare Act, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) said on Wednesday.

In a video filmed by Yoan and posted on social media last month, the 27-year-old Kurt is seen dropping his tabby cat and kicking him across the floor.

“Following a full and thorough investigation into distressing footage, we have started the process of bringing a prosecution against Kurt Zouma and Yoan Zouma,” the RSPCA said on Twitter. Zouma’s cats were taken away by the RSPCA after the incident and are still in the organisation’s care.

West Ham United said they were aware of the RSPCA statement and said Kurt was cooperating fully with the investigation.

“It is our understanding that Kurt’s cats have been checked by a vet, are in good health and have suffered no physical injuries,” the club said in a statement.

The video caused outrage, and some sponsors cut ties with Zouma and West Ham. British media reported that Zouma had to pay two weeks’ wages, which would be donated to animal welfare organisations.

“I want to apologise for my actions. There are no excuses for my behaviour, which I sincerely regret. I also want to say how deeply sorry I am to anyone who was upset by the video,” Zouma said after the incident.

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