Anaerobic dehalogenation is attracting great interest since it opens new research horizons based on the novel biochemical mechanisms identified in this field such as halorespiration, i.e. the utilization of halogenated compounds as electron acceptors. Moreover, anaerobic bacteria seem to be more efficient than their aerobic counterparts in removing halogen atoms from polyhalogenated compounds. Thus, anaerobic dehalogenation can be considered as a promising means for bioremediation treatments of persistently polluted environments. In this line, identification of pure strains capable of dehalogenation will give important information about the diversity of organisms implicated in this process and also fundamental explanations of the diverse biochemical mechanisms involved. In light of these considerations, we chose to focus this review on the physiological descriptions, dechlorination activities, phylogenetic diversity, and potential biotechnological applications of these pure anaerobic strains capable of dehalogenation.