Mexico's first "anti-bullfighting" town has signed a petition calling on the United Nations to approve a universal declaration on animal welfare.

More than 220 organizations, headed by the World Society for the Protection of Animals, are collecting signatures worldwide to petition the United Nations to adopt the proposed Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare.

Teocelo, a town of 15,000 inhabitants, last month became the first Mexican municipality to ban bullfighting and other events that involve animal mistreatment or cruelty.

The town on Thursday was honored by the London-based WSPA, one of the organizations most involved in efforts to abolish bullfighting worldwide.

"Teocelo undoubtedly is becoming an example for Mexico and the rest of the world," Marcela Vargas, head of WSPA programs for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, said.

Every August, Teocelo holds its patronage festival in honor of the Virgin of Asuncion, which until last year included bullfights.

This month, other types of no-cost activities and artistic events will be held instead of bullfighting and "animal abuse," the mayor said.

"It was incoherent for us to be promoting sustainability in the town while at the same time allowing festivals in which the show was animal abuse," Teczon said.

In April, a sub-committee of the Mexico City Legislative Assembly approved a bill to ban bullfighting in the capital, but the measure was not brought to a vote before the deadline. EFE