The cattle in these parts don’t seem to mind the hubbub. But the oil that BP is scrambling to clean up from its massive Gulf of Mexico spill threatens the animals’ grazing land and the income of the ranchers who own them.


Over 1,000 head of cattle graze on marshy islands off Louisiana’s southeastern tip and thousands more are found in the coastal low-lying pastures highly susceptible to flooding.


The petroleum and cattle industries have managed to coexist over the years. But now, ranchers fear a hurricane could wash the oil onto grazing land, poisoning their livestock and ruining their value.