Kurt Zouma and his brother Yoan have been charged under the Animal Welfare Act following an RSPCA investigation into last month’s cat-kicking incident.
Yoan Zouma, who has been suspended by Dagenham in February after he filmed his brother slapping and kicking his own cats in a video that was shared on social media. The 27-year-old’s pets were taken away and remain in care.
An RSPCA statement said: “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.
“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.”
A West Ham statement said: “West Ham United is aware of the RSPCA statement in relation to its investigation involving Kurt Zouma. Kurt continues to co-operate 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.”
Kurt Zouma apologised for his actions earlier this year. He said: “I also want to say how deeply sorry I am to anyone who was upset by the video. I would like to assure everyone that our two cats are perfectly fine and healthy.
“They are loved and cherished by our entire family, and this behaviour was an isolated incident that will not happen again.”
Yoan Zouma was suspended by Dagenham in February. A statement said: “Dagenham & Redbridge FC note the decision of the RSPCA to charge Yoan Zouma under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
“Whilst Yoan continues to fully co-operate with the RSPCA, as this matter has now progressed further, Dagenham & Redbridge FC feel it is no longer appropriate for either Yoan or the club to make any further statement.
“Dagenham & Redbridge FC maintain their position in that the club continues to condemn all animal cruelty.”
Dagenham said the defender would be available to play for them after his period of suspension.
“Since the allegation, and whilst investigations were taking place, Dagenham &Redbridge FC took the decision that Yoan should not play football for the club,” the statement continued.
“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.
“The club reserves the right to take further action if deemed necessary after conclusion of the court proceedings.”