Kurt Zouma and brother Yoan set to be charged under Animal Welfare Act

Kurt Zouma and his brother Yoan to appear in court [photo courtesy]

West Ham United defender Kurt Zouma and his brother Yoan are set to be charged under the Animal Welfare Act after they posted a video which showed them abusing a pet cat, animal charity the RSPCA said on Wednesday.

The viral video, filmed by Yoan and posted on social media last month, showed Kurt dropping the tabby cat and kicking it across the floor.

"Following a full and thorough investigation, we have started the process of bringing a prosecution against Kurt Zouma and Yoan Zouma under the Animal Welfare Act," an RSPCA spokesperson told Reuters.

"The two cats continue to be cared for by the RSPCA. We will be in a position to release more information once a court date is confirmed."

West Ham 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.

"For legal reasons, neither Kurt or the club will be making any further comment at this time."

The video caused outrage and led to club sponsors cutting ties with Kurt's Premier League club West Ham while Adidas also dropped their sponsorship of the defender. However, he continued to be selected by manager David Moyes.

West Ham said Zouma was fined the "maximum amount possible" last month, with British media reporting the fine was two weeks' wages. The 27-year-old, who apologised, had accepted the fine which was to be donated to animal welfare charities.

Yoan had been dropped by his club Dagenham & Redbridge after the allegation last month but the fifth-tier side said he will now be available to play.

"Dagenham & Redbridge FC note the decision of the RSPCA to charge Yoan Zouma under the Animal Welfare Act 2006," they said in a statement.

"Four weeks have now elapsed however since the incident, and the club feels that any further suspension from the team would be detrimental to both the Club and Yoan. A decision has been made therefore for Yoan to be available to play."

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