"When humans are punished for eating cow meat can a tiger be spared for the same offence?" asked former Goa Chief Minister and Nationalist Congress Party MLA Churchill Alemao as the issue of tiger killings was discussed in the state Assembly.
A tigress and three of her cubs were killed by five locals in Mahadayi Wildlife Sanctuary last month.
The issue was raised by Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat through a calling attention motion on the floor of the House during the Assembly session on Wednesday.
"What is the punishment for a tiger when he eats a cow? When a human being eats cow, he is punished," he said. As far as wildlife is concerned, tigers are important but as far as human beings are concerned, cows are important," Alemao said.
The human angle in the entire episode should not be ignored, the MLA added.
Responding to the calling attention motion, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said locals had killed the tigers as the wild cats had attacked their livestock.
Compensation would be paid within three or four days to farmers who have lost their cattle to animal attacks, he added.
(With agency inputs)