Cat owners could be fined under new Government rules, it has been revealed.
In a move which could affect 10 million domestic cats in the UK, people who fail to microchip their moggies could be handed a £500 fine.
Recent lockdowns have meant a huge increase in people buying pets for company and the new proposals could help identify stolen or resold pets.
Since the start of the pandemic 3.2 million households in the UK have acquired a pet.
But with the increase in the demand for pets, there has also been a rise in the theft of animals, which are then sold on for big money, including dogs.
There was a 12.3 per cent increase in pet thefts during the pandemic with several locally including a dog walker who was tackled to the ground in Woodville and her pet sausage dog Minnie snatched. Minnie was later found wandering the streets in Loughborough three days later unhurt.
Eight sausage dogs were also stolen from a kennels near Swadlincote in February. Two were later found miles away, but six are still missing.
Sir Iain Duncan Smith, the former Conservative Party leader, is campaigning…