A farming family who celebrated the birth of their first calf triplets online have been bombarded with abuse by militant vegans.

Jonny Crickmore and his wife Dulcie were left terrified by the onslaught, which included death threats to their children.

But the scare tactics backfired after well-wishers gave the couple's business 800 five-star reviews, with sales at the farm soaring as a result.

They had posted a picture of the newborn calves on Facebook and Twitter, with the caption: "This is the first set of triplets ever to be born on our farm and is a very unusual occurrence in cows. In fact it's a 700,000 to 1 chance! The babies are called Mark, Dom and Laura (after our cheese team) and are doing well."

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The family, who run Fen Farm Dairy in Bungay, north Suffolk, then found themselves overwhelmed by "five solid days of death threats" on social media from activists, some living hundreds of miles away.

The couple, who are both in their 30s, were visited by police after reporting that their two young children Arthur and Ottilie were targeted.

Mr Crickmore, who has won awards for his produce, told the East Anglian Daily Times: "We have had some really horrible comments. We put a message out and some vegans found it and posted it onto these activist groups in America – and within a few hours it escalated.

"I'm quite thick-skinned but my wife didn't like it at all,' he added. 'We have been careful to lock all our doors."

Mr Crickmore, whose 880-acre farm produces natural whole raw milk and cheese, said many of his customers had been abused as well.

Despite the attacks, the family were thrilled to receive overwhelming support from the public, going from 30 five-star reviews to more than 850 within days.

The incident is the latest in a series of rows stoked by vegan militants. This week trainee farmer Alison Waugh, from Northumberland, told the BBC how vegans had sent her death threats and called farmers 'murders and rapists'. Farmers are also increasingly seeing their land vandalised by activists.

A Vegan Society spokesman condemned the abuse and urged activists to share their messages 'peacefully'.

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