RENO, Nev. (AP) — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management's new policy emphasizing "compassion and concern" for wild horses on federal lands in the West is getting a chilly response from wild horse advocates. An American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign spokeswoman says the move "will do nothing to change the practices on the ground at the roundups." Federal laws protecting wild horses since the 1970s require the government to treat them humanely when culling overpopulated herds to reduce harm to public rangeland.

BLM officials said a series of new internal policy directives announced Friday will better protect free-roaming horses and burros by centralizing oversight and stepping up daily reports at each individual gather across 12 Western states. Acting BLM Director Mike Pool said the changes represent "significant and substantial improvements."