Published: 00:01, 27 May 2018
Anxious owners of a family-run butchers say they are living in fear after vegan activists threatened to petrol bomb their business.
Marlow Butchers, in Beaver Lane, Ashford, was first targeted last Bank Holiday Monday when vandals sprayed paint on the shop front, daubing the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) logo under the window.
Owners thanked customers for their support on Facebook following the attack, but their post sparked a huge online row which led to threats being sent to the Marlow family.
Wayne Marlow, who runs the business with his father and brother, says the comments posted online have become personal.
“On the internet it has been very threatening,” he said.
“It has got ridiculous - activists from as far away as Australia are getting involved.
“The internet is the worst thing as not only are they threatening to physically destroy our business, but they are also tying to ruin our reputation online, too, by leaving negative reviews and comments.
“They want to close us down and people are threatening to smash the windows or petrol bomb the store.
“We live in fear and we’re up worrying at night - they are terrorising us.”
The family reported the threats to police earlier this month.
A spokesman said officers are investigating the report of “malicious communications and harassment” aimed at the business.
Mr Marlow added: “We have been here for 54 years now since my dad took over the business and we are just supplying something that someone wants and is in demand.
“Every supermarket sells meat; we don’t get why they’re just targeting us.
“The threats are coming from people claiming to be vegans but they used superglue and paint when they vandalised the store, both of which contain animal by-products.
“We can’t thank the community enough and everyone is trying to do their best to help us.”
“We live in fear and we’re up worrying at night - they are terrorising us" - Wayne Marlow
Managers of the Flip Out trampoline park on the Henwood industrial estate have thrown their support behind the butchers.
General manager Matt Moon and other employees organised a competition on social media which saw the winner receive a £25 Marlow voucher.