'This can't happen!' - Salah speaks out against cats and dogs row

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Mohamed Salah Liverpool 2018-19
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The Egyptian star has addressed a row over stray animals that is causing controversy in his homeland

Mo Salah has had his say on a controversial animal rights issue currently engulfing Egypt.

The Liverpool winger has criticised a proposed plan to export stray cats and dogs, amid fears that they could be used for food.

Salah took to Twitter on Sunday evening to voice his opposition to the proposal. In a post accompanied by photos of him with his pet Siamese cats, he said: “Cats and dogs will not be exported anywhere. This won't happen and can't happen.”

He ended his tweet with the hashtag “no to animal rights violations”.

The row began last week after it was reported that the Egyptian agricultural ministry had approved the exportation of 4,000 stray cats and dogs. No further details were given, other than that the animals had been vaccinated against disease. Fears have grown that they may be killed for food.

Salah enjoys heroic status in Egypt, to the point that almost a million Egyptians voted for him as a write-in candidate in March’s presidential election. His decision to out speak in opposition to the government’s policy has been met with widespread praise and support.

Many took to social media to applaud his involvement, while others took a dimmer view of the campaign as a whole, suggesting that Egypt should instead focus on amending human rights violations, with one saying: "Let's look at human rights first, then we can look into animal rights."

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Away from politics, Salah is expected to feature for Liverpool against PSG on Wednesday night in Paris. A shock 2-0 defeat to Red Star Belgrade at the beginning of November has left Jurgen Klopp’s side in a precarious position with regards to qualification to the Champions League Round of 16.

The Reds are level on points with Group C leaders Napoli, but sit just one point ahead of third-placed PSG, and know that a loss in France would lead to a complicated scenario in which victory over Napoli in a fortnight’s time would become essential.

The last meeting between Liverpool and Thomas Tuchel’s side ended in a famous 3-2 victory for the Merseyside club, with a one-eyed Roberto Firmino scoring an injury time winner after Klopp’s men had squandered a two goal lead.