Zouma brothers to face the courts amid animal abuse allegations

West Ham United's Kurt Zouma warming up before dropping out of the starting XI at the King Power Stadium

West Ham defender Kurt Zouma (pictured) and brother Yoan Zouma are to appear at Thames Magistrates' Court for alleged offences under the Animal Welfare Act - Credit: PA

Footballing brothers Kurt and Yoan Zouma are to go before the courts after being summonsed by the RSPCA following allegations of animal abuse.

The animal welfare charity confirmed its intention to bring a case against the pair back in March, following the publication of worrying footage which showed Kurt kicking and slapping his cat.

Upon signalling that intention, the RSPCA stressed that it was serving a summons because it does not have the power to charge people.

This means the charity - with a view to pursuing a private prosecution - detailed the allegations to a magistrates' court, whose role is to decide whether there is a case to answer.

The brothers are due to appear for a first hearing at Thames Magistrates’ Court at 10am tomorrow (May 24).

Kurt Zouma, who currently plies his trade for West Ham United, stands accused of two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

This relates to separate allegations that he slapped and kicked his cat in the abdomen.

The third accusation is that the defender did not take reasonable steps to ensure that the needs his cat were "met to the extent required by good practice".

Dagenham and Redbridge player Yoan Zouma stands accused of aiding and abetting his brother to commit the offences.

The two cats remain in the care of the RSPCA, having been taken in the aftermath of the incident.

Kurt continued to play for the Hammers throughout the investigation, but has been on the receiving end of booing, including from football fans.

West Ham manager David Moyes admitted the defender did a "terrible thing", adding: “We all make mistakes in life. The boy is incredibly remorseful. He’s incredibly upset at what he did."

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Yoan was suspended by his club Dagenham and Redbridge for a number of weeks before being made available to play again on March 16.