A former Barrow AFC player has been condemned for his part in a film of his Premier League star brother kicking a cat.

Yoan Zouma, who played for the Bluebirds last season, has apologised for his involvement in the shocking footage.

A video emerged earlier today of Zouma's brother Kurt, the West Ham United and France defender, kicking and slapping a pet cat, while laughter can be heard in the background.

The appalling scenes have been widely condemned, while Dagenham and Redbridge - Yoan Zouma's current club - said the player had filmed the footage.

In a statement, the National League club said: "Dagenham & Redbridge FC condemns the actions of our player Yoan Zouma in filming the video that has circulated of his brother, and his reactions to the events shown.

"Since first becoming aware of the incident this morning the club has had discussions with Yoan and we will now take some time to consider our response, which we will of course make public in due course.

"However, in the meantime we would like to make it completely clear that we in no way condone any form of cruelty towards animals and take this matter very seriously."

Zouma, who made seven appearances for Barrow last season, added: "I deeply regret my involvement in the video that has been widely circulated and unreservedly apologise, not only for my actions, but for the upset and distress this will have caused to so many people.

"I am now taking time to reflect on what I have done but wish to assure everyone that this was an isolated incident and not something that I am proud of."

The Mail: West Ham's Kurt Zouma apologised after the shocking video emerged (photo: PA)West Ham's Kurt Zouma apologised after the shocking video emerged (photo: PA)

Kurt Zouma has also "sincerely" apologised, admitting there were no excuses for his behaviour, adding: "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."

The film showed him also chasing the animal before throwing a pair of shoes at it and slapping its head.

West Ham "unreservedly" condemned the actions of its player and said they would be dealing with the matter internally.

An RSPCA spokesperson said: "This is a very upsetting video. It's never acceptable to kick, hit or slap an animal, for punishment or otherwise.

"We are so grateful to people who report suspected animal suffering to us and we would like to reassure people we will always look into and, if necessary, investigate any complaints made to us about animal welfare."

Dr Maggie Roberts, Director of Veterinary Services at Cats Protection, issued a statement which read: "Causing any animal unnecessary suffering is a criminal offence under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Any person seen or suspected of treating an animal badly, whether this is physical violence, neglect or any other form of cruelty should be reported to the RSPCA.

"The police work closely with the RSPCA to investigate cases of animal cruelty.

"Kicking, hitting and slapping cats or any other animal is not only illegal but will cause serious bodily harm. This cat may have been subjected to broken bones or other injuries through being mistreated in this way.

"We noticed that some people viewing the video online thought it was funny. We can assure them that this is not a laughing matter."

Yoan Zouma, 23, joined Barrow from Bolton in October 2020 and, after a loan spell with Altrincham, was released at the end of the season. The defender joined Dagenham in December.