Soccer player Kurt Zouma is to be prosecuted by UK animal charity RSPCA after disturbing footage emerged of him abusing his cat.
In the viral cat video filmed and posted by his brother to Snapchat, the Premier League footballer who plays for West Ham can be seen picking up his Bengal cat before kicking and slapping his pet inside his £2 million mansion.
Zouma's brother Yoan can be heard laughing in the background and the video was followed by a series of ‘rolling on the floor laughing’ emojis causing global outcry and forcing the player to issue an apology and insist the incident was an isolated event.
While investigation was carried out by the RSPCA, who condemned the attack in a strongly-worded statement, the player was fined the maximum of two weeks' salary by West Ham and was sent on an animal cruelty awareness course as part of his punishment.
The player also lost sponsorship deals with Adidas and life insurance company Vitality, but many animal lovers did not feel the punishment had gone far enough. Over 100,000 people signed an Internet petition calling for Kurt Kouma's prosecution.
After seizing Kurt Kouma's cats, the RSCPA said: "We'd like to reassure people that we're investigating and the cats are safe and in our care."
"We have been dealing with this since before the clip went viral online and we need to follow the proper legal process and not discuss due to UK GDPR laws."
In a post on the charity's Facebook page, however, on Wednesday evening (March 16) the organization provided an update on the status of the case.
"Following a full and thorough investigation into distressing footage, we have started the process of bringing a prosecution against Kurt Zouma and Yoan Zouma. We continue to care for the two cats," the charity wrote.
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Ashleigh is Digital Editor on PetsRadar. With over 8 years of experience in print and digital media, she has acted as an editorial lead on a variety of projects, with animal themes a keen interest. As an avid animal lover, you can often find Ashleigh checking out the newest trends in animal care or looking at cute cat videos on TikTok.