Former Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma could face up to four years in prison in his native France for kicking and slapping his cat. A legal complaint has been filed against the 27-year-old West Ham United in Paris, where there is widespread shock at a video showing the player attacking his pet at his home.
Kurt Zouma to Stand Trial for Kicking a Cat
It led to lawyers working for the 30 Million Friends Foundation (La Fondation 30 Million d’Amis), the largest animal rights group in France, contacted prosecutors. A spokesman for the Foundation said: “We condemn this heinous act, have asked that the player be suspended from the France team, and filed a legal complaint against him.”
According to articles 113-6 of the French Penal Code, a French citizen can be prosecuted for criminal acts carried out abroad. Tough new animal protection laws were introduced in France in 2021, meaning that the ‘mistreatment of animals’ is now a crime and punishable by up to four years in imprisonment and a fine equivalent to £50,000.
Aggravating factors in any criminal prosecution included acts of violence being committed in front of other people, or if the animal belongs to the attacker. The video which was released shows that Kurt Zouma was very angry and so it means the player is a serious mess.
Senior French politicians have also condemned Zouma, who is from the eastern city of Lyon, and called him to be kicked out of France’s national team. Even his head coach David Moyes has expressed disappointment in the player.