A novel anorganic bovine bone xenograft with enhanced bioactivity and osteoconductivity was prepared by an ion substitution method using sodium hypochlorite. Bovine bone granules were defatted, washed, and then soaked in sodium hypochlorite solution at room temperature. Subsequently, the granules were dried and then heat-treated at 1000°C with sodium hypochlorite. As a control, bovine bone granules were prepared with the same conditions but without sodium hypochlorite treatment. Phase, functional group, and elemental analyses by XRD, FTIR, and EPMA showed that the granules heat-treated without and with sodium hypochlorite were pure hydroxyapatite and sodium-chlorine-bearing hydroxyapatite, respectively. After soaking in simulated body fluid (SBF) for 1 week, low crystalline hydroxyl carbonate apatite fully covered the surface of sodium-chlorine-bearing hydroxyapatite, whereas it formed little on the hydroxyapatite surface. After soaking in SBF and deionized water, ICP-AES and IC analyses showed that the dissolutions of calcium, sodium, chlorine, and hydroxyl ions from sodium-chlorine-bearing hydroxyapatite notably increased compared with those from hydroxyapatite. This resultantly increased the ionic activity product of apatite in SBF and induced new formation of low crystalline hydroxyl carbonate apatite. The cytotoxicity test by BCA assay showed that there were no statistically significant differences between hydroxyapatite and sodium-chlorine-bearing hydroxyapatite. In addition, sodium-chlorine-bearing hydroxyapatite showed better osteoconductivity in the calvarial defects of New Zealand white rabbits within 4 weeks compared with that of hydroxyapatite. The results suggest that this novel anorganic bovine bone xenograft possesses encouraging potential for use as a bone grafting material due to better bioactivity and osteoconductivity than hydroxyapatite. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part B: Appl Biomater, 2013.